Sometimes, people believe because cocaine is made from natural substances that it is “safe.” Cocaine is anything but safe. It is possible to use too much cocaine too often, resulting in cocaine overdose. Cocaine can be addictive and can be dangerous, especially when combined with other drugs. Let’s look at the signs of a cocaine overdose and how you can help when an overdose happens.
So how much cocaine does it take to cause an overdose? There is no concrete number or amount to answer this question. Factors like the size of the person, their metabolism, and their history of drug use will affect the amount of cocaine needed that causes an overdose. Also, while a cocaine overdose can occur no matter how the drug is being used, the amount of cocaine it takes to overdose usually depends on its method of use. Injecting cocaine creates the most significant risk of overdose. This risk is due to the large amount of cocaine entering the bloodstream quickly, affecting the body’s systems very rapidly. Smoking holds the second-highest risk while snorting cocaine into the nasal passages is third.1
There are also physical symptoms that signal a possible cocaine overdose. Physical cocaine overdose symptoms include:1
Since the half-life of cocaine is short, these signs of cocaine overdose may not last long if emergency medical treatment is received as quickly as possible.1
Non-Dihydropyridine Calcium Channel Blockers
Nitroglycerin and Nitroprusside
Lidocaine and Lipid Emulsion
External Body Cooling Methods
It is important to note that the above medications should be prescribed by trained medical personnel. Do not try to administer medicines to the person with symptoms of cocaine overdose yourself. Even if the person has a prescription for benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, or blood pressure medications, the use of these medications to treat the cocaine overdose should be at the discretion of the emergency medical doctor in charge of the person’s care. Do not try to treat a cocaine overdose yourself at home. Always call for emergency medical help.
Once the symptoms of cocaine overdose are under control and the medical condition is stabilized, it’s possible to begin treating cocaine abuse and addiction. If you know someone struggling with abuse of cocaine, don’t wait until they experience a cocaine overdose. Help to address cocaine issues is within reach.