Knowing these Cocaine Overdose Symptoms Can Save a Life
Cocaine is a dangerous drug, no matter how it’s used or who uses it. It seems to maintain its popularity with the general drug-abusing population nonetheless. But despite the proliferation of the drug’s use, a user’s ability to recognize cocaine overdose symptoms is far more limited than one might think. Or, if they do figure out what is happening, by that time it might be too late to do anything about it.
Common cocaine overdose symptoms
- An irregular, a rapidly beating heartbeat, or heart palpitations all could be signs of an overdose. Someone experiencing these symptoms might say their heart feels like it’s going to explode. Cocaine speeds up all of the body’s functions, including the heartbeat, which could lead to cardiac arrest.
- Having dilated pupils – When an individual is high on a stimulant, their pupils will become larger than normal. If that person has overdosed, this symptom will be even more pronounced, causing very large pupils that will be obvious to others.
- Cocaine users often become paranoid. They can become very difficult to reason with, and their paranoia will likely be quite intense in the event of an overdose.
- Hallucinations can cause a user to act out wildy, risking injury to him- or herself, sometime causing death.
- Paranoia and hallucinations can lead to hostile, violent behavior. The user could lash out at others or even try to hurt themselves, becoming a threat to everyone around them. These symptoms can all be part of a full-blown psychosis, which may lead to the individual being put into restraints once they arrive at a hospital or a treatment center.
- Having a seizure is one of the most dangerous cocaine overdose symptoms. It is a sign that the overdose has reached severe proportions and the person is in immediate danger. Some users experiencing a seizure can start drooling, fainting, clenching their teeth, and even losing control of their bodily functions.
- A use will have a stroke when blood flow to the brain interrupted, This causes brain damage that can be extremely dangerous and is one of the ways a person can die from overdosing on cocaine. If a user is having a stroke, he or she will have difficulty speaking. Many times, one side of the body will become extremely weak, causing the face to droop or become numb on that side.
- Cardiac arrest occurs when the user’s heart stops beating, and he or she will lose consciousness. Before losing consciousness, a user undergoing cardiac arrest may begin to hyperventilate or get very dizzy. Cardiac arrest is an extremely dangerous result of cocaine abuse and is one of the primary causes of death due to cocaine overdose.
Other symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Fainting feelings
- Panic attack
Recognizing these symptoms in time to get someone medical help can save a life.
Physical consequences of cocaine overdose
The physical complications that can be associated with a cocaine overdose include:
- Liver or Kidney failure
- Cardiovascular failure
- Permanent cognitive or memory impairment
- Permanent memory impairment
There are many more consequences that can result from a cocaine overdose. These are some of the most severe.
How loved ones can help
- Cocaine overdoses cause a number symptoms that friends and family members of users can readily recognize judge how severe the user’s overdose is. This is important because cocaine overdose can be deadly, and also can lead to a number of other dangerous physical and psychological consequences. If a family or friend has a loved one regularly abuses cocaine, it is important to know the facts and figures that go along with cocaine overdose, as well as just the symptoms.
- There are a number of important facts that everyone should know about cocaine overdose.
- It can be fatal. In 2011, more than 4,600 people died from a cocaine overdose, according to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. Rarely, sudden death may occur from ingesting too much cocaine, even if it the user’s first time trying the drug.
- Cocaine is highly addictive. Because many users often binge on the drug in order to make their high las, they are even more susceptible to the possibility of overdose.
- Men tend to be more attracted to the drug than are women, and are nearly three times more likely to die from a cocaine overdose than females.
- Sometimes, only the person to whom the symptoms of overdose will be aware of them. Sometimes it is tricky to recognize the addiction symptoms, but in many cases, the person’s behavior will change to a point where it can raise suspicion.
- Different symptoms occur with different users, and it sometimes can be hard to separate the signs of an overdose from the typical behavior of an individual on cocaine. But if a user loses consciousness, complains of heart pain or begins to exhibit psychotic behavior, these are severe symptoms of an overdose and medical attention is necessary immediately.
Scientific researchers have identified that certain protein concentrations in the brain make a person more susceptible to cocaine abuse than others. In one study, the levels of about 50 proteins were found to be either higher or lower in the cocaine abusers. These are the proteins that contribute to basic neurobiological processes such as forming cell structures, strengthening neuron connections, sending chemical messages between cells, extracting energy from glucose and protecting cells from injury.
Presently, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine addiction. Researchers are working aggressively to identify new medications to treat cocaine addiction safely and effectively. Several medications marketed for other diseases, such as vigabatrin, modafinil, tiagabine, disulfiram and topiramate have shown promise. They have been reported to actually reduce the cocaine use of addicts. Among these, disulfiram, which is used treat alcoholism, has been the most successful in reducing in cocaine abuse.
Clinical trials are ongoing in the search for the proper treatment for cocaine use, in particular. In the meantime, traditional treatments for most drug addicts, such as rehabilitation centers, , therapy, and self-help programs are the most common programs such users currently follow on their way to recovery.