Cocaine is a highly addictive, illicit stimulant drug. Those who have used cocaine often suffer both short- and long-term side effects. Research has found that the dose at which cocaine could lead to an overdose or death is 96mg/kg. But the precise dosage for each individual will vary based on their age, overall health, tolerance, and the drug’s purity. An overdose can be lethal and requires immediate medical intervention.
Increasingly, cocaine overdose fatalities have involved fentanyl, a potent opioid. For example, in 2016, 37% of cocaine-related overdose deaths in New York City involved fentanyl use. That same year, Connecticut recorded 143 overdose deaths involving both fentanyl and cocaine.
According to the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 2.2 million individuals, or 0.8% of the population aged 12 or older, had used cocaine in the 30 days, and that number included 473,000 people who used crack during that period.
Cocaine Overdose Symptoms
An overdose of cocaine occurs when an individual ingests a large amount of cocaine, a concentrated dose, or uses cocaine with other substances.
Symptoms of a cocaine overdose include the following:
- Extreme anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Chest pain
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Problems with breathing
- Kidney failure
Signs of Cocaine Overdose
When a person consumes too much cocaine, seizures, or convulsions may onset within 2-3 minutes, and the individuals can die within half an hour.
In addition to death, cocaine overdose can lead to the following:
- Stroke and paralysis
- Impaired cognition
- Heart abnormalities
- Kidney failure
- Deterioration of muscles
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that fatalities from cocaine overdose increased from 6,784-10,375 between 2015-2016. The estimated number of deaths for 2017 was 14,556k, and from 2010 to 2017, there was a 3.5-fold increase in the number of deaths.
How Much Cocaine Does it Take to Overdose?
The precise amount that a person can overdose may be hard to predict. Long-term users build a tolerance to the drug, so they may be “ok” with a dose that would be too much for a new user.
As noted, research has found that the overdose amount for cocaine in mice is 96mg/kg. This means that the dose at which around half of the research animals die is 96 milligrams per kilogram of weight. Other research has found that that cocaine has a fatal dose that is 15 times its effective dose, meaning that it doesn’t take much more than the regular dose to lead to a toxic amount.
In 74% of cocaine-related deaths, another drug is usually consumed as well, especially alcohol. The addition of alcohol in conjunction with cocaine increases the risk of sudden death 25-fold.
Short-Term Effects of Cocaine
If an individual has recently used cocaine, they may exhibit behaviors and symptoms including the following:
- Boost of energy
- Increased alertness
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Pupil dilation
- Increased heart rate
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Aggression and violence
- Panic attacks
Long-Term Effects of Cocaine
Long-term effects of cocaine abuse include the following:
- Weight loss
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart disease
- Sexual dysfunction
- Nasal, sinus, and lung damage
- Increased risk of stroke
- Impaired attention and memory
- Poor impulse control
Regular cocaine users typically use the drug in binges. They will abuse the drug repeatedly and increasing doses. This practice can result in an overdose or severe psychological or physical side effects.
Treatment for Cocaine Overdose and Addiction
If you or a loved one are encountering any of these symptoms, please reach out to Just Believe Recovery for support. We offer a wide array of addiction rehab services that are focused on an individual’s long-lasting sobriety.
If a person has experienced a cocaine overdose, emergency medical intervention will be needed to stabilize him or her. Once the person is stable, comprehensive, evidence-based substance abuse treatment is strongly advised, This will address the factors that led to cocaine abuse, and helping to ensure that the overdose doesn’t occur again.
Just Believe Recovery offers services vital to the process of recovery, including behavioral therapies, counseling, and 12-step programs. These treatments are intended to help change the individual’s thoughts and behaviors related to substance abuse and offer peer support.
Are you struggling with addiction? Are you ready to start on the path to long-term sobriety? If so, we urge you to contact us today and discover how we can help you reclaim your life and experience the healthiness and happiness you deserve!