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It has a rich history as a party drug, so you may wonder, “Can you overdose on cocaine?”
One only needs to look to celebrities to know the answer. Examples are John Belushi, Ike Turner, Whitney Houston, and baseball players Jose Fernandez and Tommy Hanson.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that at high doses can cause heart failure. In addition, fentanyl laced cocaine has been the cause of a spike in recent cocaine overdoses. While overdose is the ultimate risk, cocaine addiction can cause many other adverse effects, too. Keep reading to learn more about this potentially deadly drug.
Some Facts About Cocaine
Cocaine is a white powdery substance that comes from the coca plants grown in South America. Cocaine, which is a Schedule II Controlled Substance, causes stimulation, or speeding up, of the central nervous system. This results in a short-lived but powerful euphoric high. Because the desirable effects don’t last long, people tend to keep using cocaine to prolong the high.
Cocaine can be ingested as a powder that is snorted, or in a liquefied form that is injected. Crack, or freebased, cocaine is the street name for cocaine that is smoked. Dealers often insert other substances into the cocaine, like cornstarch, flour, or baking powder, to increase profitability. Although the price of cocaine has dropped substantially since the 80s, it is still a pricey drug.
How Cocaine Abuse Impacts the Brain and Leads to Addiction
A night of partying with the aid of cocaine might not seem that risky. But the cocaine high doesn’t last long, which can be a problem. This is because the person may repeat the cocaine dosing multiple times in the evening. The more cocaine that is in the system, the higher the risk is of an overdose.
When someone continues to consume cocaine over weeks or months, tolerance will increase. This causes the person to use more and more of the drug to get the desired effect. When they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug wears off, that is a sign of dependence.
Some signs of cocaine addiction include:
- Frequent mood swings.
- A decline in work performance.
- Weight loss.
- Muscle tics.
- Money problems.
- Mental health symptoms, like anxiety, paranoia, or depression.
Cocaine Short-Term and Long-Term Effects
It takes very little time for cocaine to imprint itself in the brain’s reward system. This is due to the dopamine effect that makes the drug so desirable.
Short-term effects of cocaine use include:
- A boost of energy.
- Manic mood.
- Heightened cognitive functions.
- Less sleep needed.
- Feeling invincible.
Not all of the early effects are positive. Short-term adverse effects include rapid heart rate, paranoia, nosebleeds, aggression, hallucinations, exhaustion, and cravings.
Long-term effects of cocaine abuse include:
- Enlarged heart.
- Heart arrhythmia.
- Destruction of nasal tissue and cartilage.
- Heart attacks.
- Financial ruin.
- Vascular damage.
- Kidney damage.
- Cardiac arrest.
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose
The risk for a cocaine overdose is fairly high. This is mainly due to the drug’s varied levels of purity. With no way to really test the purity of cocaine, the user risks consuming a toxic dose of the stimulant.
Cocaine toxicity can cause serious damage to vital organs. This includes risks to the heart, kidneys, and liver. If a toxic level of the drug is consumed, it is essential that the person be treated as soon as possible. Left untreated, cocaine poisoning can result in a heart attack or stroke, both of which might be fatal.
Cocaine overdose symptoms include:
- Intense headache.
- Extreme sense of dehydration.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Feeling very hot.
Cocaine supplies that are tainted with fentanyl have posed a high risk in recent years. Fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine. Someone buying cocaine off the street is not aware that the substance they received contains the deadly fentanyl. Fentanyl-related cocaine overdose deaths are clearly on the rise.
Seeking Help for Cocaine Addiction
Once someone acquires a cocaine habit, there is little chance of overcoming the addiction without formal treatment. Treatment is available in either outpatient or residential settings.
Through the following treatment elements it is possible to quit cocaine and then restore health and wellness:
Detox. The detox and withdrawal process jumpstarts cocaine recovery. Withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe depending on the scope of the cocaine addiction, and may include:
- Slowed thinking.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Increased appetite.
- Muscle aches.
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Talk therapy. You will meet with a licensed therapist to help you through any issues that may factor in to the cocaine addiction. The most helpful types of therapy include CBT, DBT, and CM.
Group sessions. You will join peers in recovery to discuss topics. A therapist leads the sessions and provides topics that encourage discussion. Bonding with peers in recovery can be a rich source of support.
12-step program. Rehabs often wrap the themes of N.A. or A.A. into the treatment program, as these can provide additional guidance. 12-step meetings can offer social support and structure in recovery.
Education and life skills training. Classes can be helpful in teaching a basic understanding of how addiction happens. Acquiring new coping skills can help protect recovery, along with developing a relapse prevention plan.
Holistic methods. A healthy mind-body alliance is crucial in recovery. You will learn how to get healthy by eating right, getting exercise, and managing stress. Some methods to control stress include yoga classes, art therapy, and massage.
If you were wondering, “Can you overdose on cocaine?” you now have your answer. It is difficult to beat a cocaine addiction without expert help, so reach out today.
Capo by the Sea Provides Comprehensive Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Capo by the Sea is a premier rehab center that can help you or a loved one overcome a cocaine addiction. Capo by the Sea offers the perfect mix of superb clinical expertise coupled with luxury amenities. Give our team a call today at (888) 529-2114.