Cocaine is a white powder that comes from the leaves of the coca plant. It is most commonly used as a recreational drug and is highly addictive. Cocaine is a stimulant drug, and causes increased alertness, energy, and feelings of euphoria.
Cocaine use comes with many dangers. Users of cocaine risk mental and physical damage, substance abuse disorder, withdrawal symptoms when they cease use after becoming dependent, and of course the looming threat of overdose, which can have life-threatening consequences.
If you or a loved one is using cocaine and has begun experiencing adverse effects, now is the time to stop. The longer someone uses cocaine, the more damage they will cause their body, the higher the risk of addiction, and the greater the chance of experiencing cocaine overdose symptoms.
How is Cocaine Used?
Cocaine is typically snorted through the nose, but it can also be injected or ingested orally. The method of use will affect how quickly the drug enters the bloodstream and how intense the effects are. Injecting cocaine directly into the bloodstream produces the most intense high but also carries the highest risk of overdose.
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, and users can develop dependence after just one use. Cocaine addiction is characterized by compulsive cocaine use despite negative consequences. A person suffering from cocaine substance abuse disorder will continue to use cocaine even when it causes serious problems in their lives. Here are some of the negative effects an addiction to cocaine can have on someone’s life.
Everyone knows that cocaine is expensive. When someone engages in cocaine use once every few weeks, it can put a dent in their wallet. However, if someone is addicted to cocaine, they are likely to engage in cocaine use every day. This can cause the addicted person enormous financial pressure.
As financial problems build up, the addicted person may seek other ways of getting money for their cocaine use. Someone with a cocaine addiction may begin borrowing money from friends, stealing money, or even engaging in criminal activity so they can pay for their drugs.
Cocaine is extremely dangerous for physical health. Users risk physical ailments, including damaging their nose by snorting cocaine, damage to the gastrointestinal tract, restricted blood flow, damage to the cardiovascular system, and even cardiac arrest.
If someone is injecting cocaine, they also risk track marks, collapsed veins, and diseases caused by sharing needles.
Psychological signs of cocaine addiction include:
- Anxiety. Cocaine users can become anxious. Initially, they are only anxious when they are using cocaine. After using for a while, they may be anxious even when they are not taking the drug.
- Panic attacks. People who are addicted to cocaine become prone to panic attacks. When someone stops using cocaine, the chance of them experiencing a panic attack usually reduces.
- Depression. Cocaine use changes the way that dopamine receptors work in the brain. This can cause users to become depressed following a binge. Users who have been using for an extended time may be depressed for a long time after they cease use.
Cocaine Overdose Signs
Cocaine overdose is a medical emergency and can be fatal. Cocaine overdose symptoms can be seen when a person uses too much cocaine or mixes it with other drugs. Keep reading so you can recognize cocaine overdose symptoms if they happen to someone you know.
- Extreme anxiety. Many people experience anxiety when they are taking cocaine. However, if someone begins feeling very severe anxiety, they may be having a cocaine overdose.
- Chest pain. If someone has chest pain after taking cocaine, it may be a sign that there is a problem with their heart caused by their cocaine use, or that they are having a heart attack.
- Delirium. Delirium is another of the cocaine overdose symptoms that can occur when someone takes too much cocaine.
- Dilated pupils. Large pupils are one of the physical symptoms of cocaine use; however, if someone’s pupils cover the entirety of their eyes, they may have taken a dangerous amount of cocaine.
- Hallucinations. If someone is seeing or hearing things that are not there, they may have taken too much cocaine and are at risk of a cocaine overdose.
- High body temperature. If someone’s body temperature is significantly higher following cocaine use, this is a cause for concern and may indicate cocaine overdose.
- Lightheadedness. When someone becomes lightheaded after taking cocaine, they may be having a cocaine overdose.
- High blood pressure. When someone experiences high blood pressure, they may be experiencing a cocaine overdose. High blood pressure can cause cerebral bleeding.
- Death. Cocaine overdose deaths are unfortunately far too common. While these deaths are more likely if a user combines cocaine with other drugs, people can die even if they are not mixing cocaine with other substances.
If you believe someone is experiencing a cocaine overdose, do not delay in getting help. Call 911 immediately, and report that a cocaine overdose is occurring.
Crack Cocaine and Overdose
Crack cocaine is a rock form of cocaine that is smoked. Crack cocaine purity tends to be higher than powder cocaine and it produces a more intense high. Crack cocaine also has a higher risk of cocaine overdose due to its potency and the fact that it is often mixed with other drugs, such as the synthetic opioids fentanyl and carfentanil.
How Much Cocaine is Too Much?
Someone can experience a cocaine overdose after taking just a few hundred milligrams of cocaine if they have existing health problems. It is also easier to overdose if someone has existing health problems, or if the cocaine that they are using is particularly high purity. There are also dangerous cuts that are frequently added to cocaine that increase cocaine toxicity and can cause cocaine overdoses.
Crack Cocaine and Overdose
Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that has been processed to make it more potent. It is typically smoked, which also makes the effects more intense. Crack cocaine is even more dangerous than powder cocaine due to the increased potency and risk of overdose.
Cocaine overdose risks are even higher if users inject crack cocaine. Cocaine overdose symptoms from injecting the drug in this way come on quickly, and acute cocaine toxicity may be seen after only one injection. As with all methods of taking cocaine, users who inject crack cocaine usually repeatedly dose the drug.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment – Professional Help
If you or someone you know has substance use disorder and is addicted to cocaine, there are treatment options available. The treatment process typically begins with detoxification. In this part of addiction treatment, people who have been using cocaine stop using the drug. They may have a brief period of withdrawal at this point. Good addiction treatment centers give clients Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to make sure they are as comfortable as possible at this point.
The next stage of residential treatment involves therapy. Users look at the reasons why they began using it in the first place, and make a plan to figure out how they can not use it in the future.
If you are struggling with cocaine addiction, you can call Alina Lodge today for professional help.