A cocaine overdose can happen suddenly, even if it’s your first time using cocaine. Within minutes of taking too much cocaine, you may begin to experience the first signs of a cocaine overdose.
Immediate Symptoms Of Cocaine Overdose
Cocaine is a stimulant drug. It increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. When you overdose, these symptoms are more exaggerated.
The drastic changes in your cardiovascular system will cause the first physical signs of an overdose.
- chest pain
- irregular heartbeat
In addition to the physical symptoms, you may experience agitation or paranoia. These are the first signs of cocaine-induced psychosis.
Stages Of A Cocaine Overdose
Cocaine overdoses escalate quickly. Within a matter of minutes they can become life-threatening, particularly if cocaine is mixed with other, more severe drugs of abuse, such as fentanyl.
Stage One: Acute Cocaine Toxicity Symptoms
Acute cocaine toxicity is the first phase in a potential overdose.
In this stage, you’re going to start feeling unwell. Cocaine-related headaches, nausea, and dizziness are all common signs. Each symptom is indicative of irregular cardiovascular activity and high blood pressure.
Acute cocaine toxicity can also cause tachycardia, dysrhythmia, and coronary vasospasms. Each condition can easily lead to life-threatening dysregulation.
Stage Two: Risk Of Seizures And Brain Damage
Cocaine targets your central nervous system, drastically reducing the reuptake of important neurotransmitters. These changes are responsible for your cardiovascular and psychological symptoms.
If the imbalance becomes too much for your brain to handle, you may have a cocaine-induced seizure.
Lasting or repetitive seizures come with a high risk of lasting brain damage. If someone is seizing, emergency services need to be contacted right away, even if the seizure resolves.
Stage Three: Body System Shutdown, Risk Of Coma, And Cardiac Arrest
Cocaine overdose can cause heart attack, stroke, renal infarction, acute liver damage, and cardiac arrest. All of these conditions are life-threatening.
Of these conditions, the most pressing is cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest is not a heart attack. It is a complete halt of your cardiovascular system.
Your heart stops beating, then you stop breathing. If your brain is deprived of oxygen for too long, there is a risk of coma and possible brain death.
What You Should Do If A Cocaine Overdose Occurs
If a cocaine overdose occurs, call 911 immediately. Give the 911 operator as much information as possible. Be specific about location and any other possible drug use.
It shouldn’t take long for help to arrive. In the meantime, stay with the person. If they’re showing signs of psychosis, do what you can to keep them in a safe place.
With any luck, emergency services will be there long before the person collapses. If they collapse first, stay with them.
During this time, monitor their symptoms and keep their airways clear. If they begin to vomit, turn them on their side to prevent them from aspirating.
While you wait, look up CPR. Track the person’s pulse carefully. If their heart stops, then do CPR to the best of your ability until the ambulance arrives.
How Cocaine Overdose Is Treated
With prompt medical attention, a cocaine overdose can be successfully treated.
When an overdose patient first arrives at the emergency room, the first step is always stabilization unless sedation is required first.
As long as you aren’t an immediate threat to yourself or others, the ER staff will first work to get your stats back to baseline. The required steps to achieve that goal will entirely depend on your symptoms.
In the case of a cardiac arrest, your ER team will work together to get your heart beating again. Without oxygenated blood flow, none of your organ systems can function.
If your heart is still functioning, your ER staff will deal with each of your symptoms in order of importance.
Treatment Options For Cocaine Addiction
Drug addiction is a disease that you can’t fight alone. When you reach out for help, you will find treatment centers that are ready to help you with your substance use disorder.
Quality providers will make sure that you receive aid every step of the way.
From medically supported detox for cocaine withdrawal to multiple types of behavioral therapy, treatment programs are there to help you live beyond substance abuse.
Find A Rehab Program For Cocaine Abuse
At Bedrock Recovery Center, our dedicated staff are waiting to provide the necessary support to help you end your cocaine addiction.
We offer inpatient and outpatient programs that are designed to work with your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call for help today.
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.