How Much Cocaine Does It Take To Overdose?

All cocaine may be tainted. Any given batch could contain any number of additional, dangerous drugs. There is no safe dose of cocaine, and no known amount to overdose, since many factors affect a person’s risk for overdose.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


Cocaine is an illegal, stimulant drug. The complete lack of regulation makes it virtually impossible to identify a “safe” dose of cocaine.

In the United States, the purity of cocaine varies widely from 30 to 80%. The remaining percentage you receive could be anything that mimics the look and texture of cocaine.

Common adulterants include baking powder, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In practice, the results are unpredictable and fatal cocaine overdoses are on the rise.

Amount Of Cocaine For A Non-Fatal Overdose

There is no way to be sure that a particular dosage of cocaine will not be fatal. There are simply too many factors at play including your size, sex, age, and history of drug use.

In addition, some people may overdose with their first use of cocaine — often because of dangerous cocaine cutting agents, such as fentanyl, while others may use cocaine for months or years before experiencing an overdose.

In short, any amount of cocaine can lead to a non-fatal overdose.

Is There A Lethal Amount Of Cocaine?

Cocaine use is always potentially lethal. The effects of cocaine increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. All of these changes strain your cardiovascular system.

These effects can cause seizures, stroke, heart attack, and cardiac arrest. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or if you’re young and healthy. You are at risk.

That said, cocaine substance abuse, by itself, is not a high risk for fatal overdose. However, most people who abuse cocaine have a substance use disorder (drug addiction) and abuse other substances alongside it.

Cocaine can be lethal when mixed with other dangerous drugs of abuse that come with a high risk for overdose, such as heroin or fentanyl.

Other Factors That Contribute To Cocaine Overdose

Cocaine overdose is caused by a myriad of factors. Some are within your control; others are not.

Method Of Abuse

Snorting cocaine is the least risky delivery method as long as what you are snorting is actually cocaine. If someone offers you “pink cocaine,” you should never snort it.

With real cocaine, the risk of drug overdose is much higher if you smoke crack cocaine or inject cocaine.

Type Of Cocaine

All cocaine has the ability to cause overdose. Crack cocaine does have higher overdose rates largely because it is smoked.

Cocaine is also more likely to cause an overdose if it is used alongside alcohol or other drugs.

A “speedball” is cocaine mixed with heroin or morphine for the purpose of injection. “Speedballing” is regularly associated with fatal cocaine overdose.

Cutting Agents

Without government regulation, there is no way to guarantee the purity of your cocaine.

On the trip to the United States, your cocaine was likely cut repeatedly with other substances. Common cocaine cutting agents include cornstarch, talcum powder, and flour.


Adulterants can be even more dangerous. Levamisole, amphetamines, and fentanyl are all mixed into cocaine, often without your knowledge.

Each one significantly increases your risk of overdose. To help offset this risk, contact your local harm reduction group to get a fentanyl testing kit until you’re ready to seek treatment.

What To Do In The Event Of A Cocaine Overdose

If you overdose on cocaine, you may not have a lot of time before you lose control. The first side effects of cocaine toxicity are usually nausea, dizziness, headache, and chest pain.

Call for Help

If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, then call 911. Give the operator as much information as possible to improve your loved one’s chance of survival.

Once the operator has all of the necessary information, call a friend who lives close by. Ask them to come to wherever you are and have them look up CPR on the way.

Stay In Place

Every overdose is different. Within a matter of minutes, the person could fall into cocaine-induced psychosis or collapse entirely.

While you wait for help to arrive, help the person lie down on their side. If they vomit while they’re seizing or passed out, this position could save your life.

Emergency services should arrive quickly. Once the person has professional medical attention, their chance of survival increases dramatically as they will be able to administer cocaine overdose treatment.

Treatment Programs For Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine abuse is dangerous. Fortunately, there are treatment centers available to help you make the first steps towards recovery.

Medically assisted cocaine detox ensures that your withdrawal symptoms are well-managed. You’ll be safer and more comfortable with healthcare providers present.

Once you’re ready to move forward, behavioral therapy can help you care for your mental health and build resilience. It will take time, but the right program can make a lasting difference.

Find Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, our priority is you. Drug addiction is a difficult disease. We understand the emotional and physical strain you’re experiencing.

You shouldn’t have to feel this way. We can help get you the cocaine addiction treatment you need. You just have to make the call.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Cocaine Drug Facts
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Overdose Death Rates

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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