Cocaine Overdose | Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

Cocaine Addiction
Drug Addiction
Drug Abuse

A sobering study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that an alarming rate of 100,000 drug overdose deaths happens in the country annually. Sadly, cocaine overdose is one of the leading causes of this. Join the Transcend Recovery Community as we survey further about this condition to see what you can do to help your situation.

Cocaine Overdose Explained

Cocaine is a powerful drug derived from the coca plant from South America. Similar to synthetic opioids, taking cocaine or mixing cocaine with other drugs (even for just a few hundred milligrams) can be extremely fatal.

Cocaine overdose occurs when an individual has taken an excessive amount of the drug, Cocaine, which may induce their risk of overdose. An overdose may occur in stages and varies from person to person. You can easily tell if someone is suffering cocaine overdose symptoms right away as there are telling signs.

Signs of a Cocaine Overdose

There are 3 stages of cocaine overdose that people must watch out for, especially when the victim is manifesting noticeable physical and psychological symptoms of a cocaine overdose. These may vary from person to person, especially with how much cocaine they have ingested. But it's essential to be aware of the following stages so that you could easily identify them, especially in times of danger.

Here are the following stages of cocaine overdose symptoms:

  • Stage I - The first phase may involve acute toxicity with minimal symptoms and physical effects. They can be characterized as the following:
  • Nausea
  • Twitching
  • Spinning sensation
  • An increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Change in body temperature
  • Stage II - The second stage may prove to be more worrisome and highlight the effects of cocaine on the body. They may be showing signs that are more bothersome than the first phase. They may include:
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Irregular respiration
  • Brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Faulty bladder control
  • Hyperthermia
  • Stage III - The final stage is extremely dangerous. It will have variances and not yield the same effects as the first two stages but may still prove to be life-threatening if neglected. These symptoms may also need immediate medical attention to stop the risk of overdose even further
  • chest pain
  • gastrointestinal tract problems
  • exceedingly high blood pressure
  • heart attacks
  • extreme body temperature
  • Comatose
  • Organ failure
  • Cerebral bleeding

A person's life is in danger if he or she continuously takes cocaine and does not swear off of highly addictive cocaine use. It's important to work well with a recovery center's admission team to find the right addiction recovery to help you process your cocaine addiction and avoid cocaine overdose symptoms.

Symptoms of a cocaine overdose

a man who is addicted to cocaine is holding his head while sitting on a chair with a table which is a sign of overdose

Similar to Ethanol and other infamous drugs and substances responsible for substance abuse and alcohol addiction, cocaine's overdose symptoms are easily identifiable. All it takes is a keen eye and awareness of a person's struggle with cocaine use.

Most likely, cocaine users share the same set of symptoms albeit in different ranges and variances. Here are the symptoms of a cocaine overdose.

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Extreme sweating
  • Chest pain accompanied by labored breathing
  • Mood changes
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Blurry eyesight or vision
  • Nausea is sometimes accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.

When someone is showing these physical effects leading to an eventual overdose on cocaine, you must call a physician for them to receive immediate medical attention. Always remember that time is of the essence in these situations and every second is precious to avoid any risk of fatalities when an overdose occurs.

Cocaine Overdose Treatment

Treating cocaine overdose may be dealt with differently than a scheduled inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program for cocaine use as part of substance abuse or addiction treatment.

The treatment process for an overdose on cocaine may require the following steps:

  • Do not hold the victim or restrain them in any way or fashion.
  • You must position them safely on their side on the floor.
  • You must remove any potential hazards away from their limbs or head from the surrounding environment.
  • Put a cold compress on the person's forehead, back and side of the neck, and wrists to reduce the high body temperature.

While these steps are happening, you should immediately call an ambulance so they can be rushed to the ER immediately. The treatment facility, such as the hospital, may need to administer various medications, such as intravenous fluids/liquids, to reduce or weaken the toxic levels and effects of cocaine on the body.

Additionally, they may need to stay at the hospital for a particular period (depending on the cocaine overdoses) before being sent for rehabilitation and therapy.

What To Do if Someone Overdoses on Cocaine

Here are the necessary steps that you could easily follow should you see someone, like a friend or family member, succumb to drugs and the risk of overdose. Check out the following tips to follow below.

  1. Call an emergency medical hotline. - In this case, you or someone attending to the victim must call 911 right away, and inform of the rescuers what happened.
  2. Move the victim on their side. - By doing so, you avoid any choking hazards or airway blockage especially when they are experiencing vomiting.
  3. Listen carefully to the attending rescue operator. - They will surely provide useful and life-saving instructions during the call. It is imperative to get all of them, apply them right away, and not waste any time as you fight for someone's life.
  4. Stay calm and don't give in to panic. - It's easy to give in to panic and anxiety when you see an actual medical emergency. Don't forget to be mindful and collect yourself before reacting negatively and responding to the situation.

Can You Recover from Cocaine Abuse?

There are many ways in which you can recover from cocaine abuse. You must first talk to a treatment facility's admissions team to give you a proper diagnosis which would allow you to choose from various addiction treatment programs to help you move on from an addiction, which applies to other drugs or even the most infamous drugs.

Let's look at the following treatment options:

  • Detoxification therapy - The actual process of tapering drug addiction from other substances or dependence on drug use may take weeks until months with withdrawal symptoms along the way from the highly addictive substance. Although there are risk factors to consider, it is one of the most successful treatment forms.
  • Behavioral therapy - This "talk therapy" helps the victim process their addiction via a solo or group session. They can talk about their experiences while helping them have a better understanding to shed light on their addiction.

A recovering individual may also benefit from talking to sober escorts while staying at a sober living residence for when they transition after their rehabilitation program to the real world.

Can Transcend Recovery Community Assist?

To ensure a successful addiction treatment, you must have a great team supporting you with supplemental services to help a patient on their recovery journey. Transcend Recovery Community assists patients through their many mental health support programs, such as recovery homes that serve as their safe space. If you want to find out more about how we can help you or someone you love, contact us today!

Transcend Recovery Community

Transcend Recovery Community family of sober living homes provides a safe place for those undergoing mental health and addiction treatment to live with like-minded peers. Our community-based approach to sober living (similarly to a halfway house) facilitates an open and welcoming environment, where members, staff and team can provide support and encouragement on the path to a sober and healthy life. Transcend's Los Angeles sober living homes are located in some of the most iconic areas of the city, filled with luxurious and upscale amenities, providing plenty to do for those in our transitional housing community.

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