cocaine overdose

Cocaine Overdose: What You Need to Know

Are you 100% sure that your teenager is clean and sober? Do you ever suspect that a close friend or loved one is strung out on cocaine?

Every year, more than 13,000 people fatally overdose on cocaine, a common street drug. If you’ve never taken the drug yourself, you could miss the telltale signs and symptoms of a cocaine overdose. 

If you need to know more about cocaine use and abuse, this article’s for you. We’ll give you insider information on cocaine and help you find an accredited rehabilitation facility.

Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse

In general, cocaine users like to keep their addiction a secret. You might suspect that your teen is using cocaine, but it can be difficult to know for sure. 

Some common effects of cocaine are weight loss, extreme irritability, and sudden anger. You might also find that cocaine users have euphoric phases that turn back into depression: that’s part of “coming down” off the high. 

There are many slang terms for cocaine including “blow,” “powder,” and “sugar.” If you overhear your teen using these words, you might have a problem. 

While you may want to give your teen their own personal space, you should also keep a close eye on their behavior. Do they always seem hung over? 

Do they always seem to have a runny nose? Are you spotting white powder on their collars? 

The signs of cocaine abuse can be difficult to see at first, but stay alert for any radical changes in behavior. 

Effects of Long-Term Cocaine Use

The problem with cocaine is that users build a tolerance over time, needing more and more of the drug to get high. They may fall into deep depressions and isolate themselves when they don’t have the drug on hand. 

Another problem with cocaine addiction is that you never know how large a dose will be fatal. Experienced users may compete to see who can take the most cocaine, and they may mix it with other drugs to prolong their high.

Long-term cocaine use can cause heart attacks, liver failure, and headaches. It can also cause lung damage, sexual problems, and even seizures. 

If you suspect that a friend or loved one has a cocaine addiction, it’s important to get them into rehab right away. They’re risking their lives every time they take cocaine.

They may not realize it, but their drug addiction could be negatively impacting their friendships and their jobs. Is it time for rehab?

The Dangers of Mixing Drugs

Rehab is an important next step for people who are dealing with intense cocaine effects every day. The longer they do the drug, the more likely they are to overdose. 

People with an addiction to cocaine often mix it with other drugs, a dangerous pastime. Mixing alcohol and cocaine causes the liver to produce cocaethylene, a toxic substance that builds up over the years. 

The real problem with cocaethylene is that there aren’t any long-term studies on its effects on the liver and the rest of the body. Scientists know that the substance is toxic for the heart and may cause liver failure, however.

Another toxic combination is cocaine and heroin, often known as a “speed ball.” People shoot a mixture of the two drugs directly into their veins, often taking high doses. 

There is no set amount of cocaine that causes overdoses. That will vary according to the user’s height and weight, the drugs they’re mixing in with the cocaine, and the length of time they’ve been using. 

Signs of a Cocaine Overdose

So how can you tell if someone is overdosing on cocaine? There are two types of overdoses: fatal and non-fatal. 

A non-fatal overdose might be characterized by paranoia, seizures, or hallucinations. Your family member might be dehydrated, which will intensify the effects of their overdose. 

Fatal overdoses could be caused by a heart attack, brain aneurysm, or stroke. If you suspect your loved one is overdosing on cocaine or another drug, call 911 right away. 

The fact is, a seizure could be fatal in under 25 minutes. The same holds true for an untreated heart attack. 

If you see that your loved one is sweating, panicking, and seems to be gasping for air, try to help them sit down and stay indoors while you call for an ambulance. Give them some water and try to calm them down. 

The Spiral of Addiction

Do you ever feel like your life is one big party, but nobody’s having fun anymore?

What happens when you’re the person who has a problem with cocaine? Are you ready to go to rehab? 

Your life could depend upon it. If you’re having trouble at work and with your relationships, it might be time to check out rehab options. 

It’s not easy to quit using, especially if it’s a long-term habit, but you should know that you’re damaging your heart, lungs, and liver. 

Sometimes, all it takes is reaching out to a counselor, minister, or trusted family member. If you’re ready to quit, it’s time to find an in-patient rehabilitation facility. 

You might be surprised to find that rehab stays are often covered by your insurance.  

Finding an Accredited Rehab Facility

As you start to look for a rehab facility, make sure that it’s accredited and fully licensed in your state. You might want to take a tour before you commit to a residential program. 

Take the time to ask the tough questions. What is their rate of success? Are there any graduates of the program that you can talk to? 

If you have already suffered a cocaine overdose, your rehab facility should be able to help you in the withdrawal process.

This could take several weeks, depending upon how long you were addicted. 

Whether you’re trying to improve your own life or give your teenager a new start, come and talk to us. We have luxury rehab options, innovative therapies, and relapse prevention planning.

Send us an email online or give us a phone call. We’re excited to work with you and your loved ones!

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About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.