Can Cocaine Kill You?

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. When making cocaine, the leaves are processed several times, usually alongside other toxic chemicals. Once this processing is down, these leaves will have turned into small white rocks.

Currently, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that it has an accepted medical purpose, but also poses a high risk drug abuse and addiction. Because it is so commonly depicted as a patry drug, many people still wonder: can cocaine kill you?

Keep reading to find out more about the effects of cocaine, what makes up cocaine addiction treatment, and how to get help for coke if you are struggling!

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Understanding Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a fast-acting and highly addictive drug, and abusing it can produce an intense euphoric high, as well as boost confidence levels, making it very appealing to people who are looking for a quick fix.

Cocaine is commonly sold as a street drug in the form of a white powder under a host of different names, including “Snow,” “Nose Candy,” “Mojo,” “Dust,” “Coke,” “Crack,” and “Blow,” amongst many other slang terms for cocaine.

Cocaine Addiction

Unfortunately, many people will choose to take this drug in increasingly large doses or mix it with other substances, increasing their risk for experiencing adverse effects. This includes becoming addicted to cocaine.

Addiction happens with prolonged cocaine use, as the dopamine produced by this substance can permanently alter the levels of this over time. This means that, the longer someone abuses cocaine, the harder it will become for their brain to naturally release dopamine.

This is what makes cocaine so addictive, and often makes trying to stop use of this drug so difficult without proper support.

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What are the Side Effects of Cocaine Use?

While cocaine increases dopamine and can cause pleasant feelings of euphoria and confidence, it does not just cause an enjoyable high.

Depending on how much cocaine a person takes and their method of administration, this drug can have several negative side effects, as well. In particular, cocaine affects the cardiovascular system, causing chest pain, rapid heart rate, and increased blood pressure.

Other unpleasant symptoms experienced with cocaine use may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased body temperature
  • Trouble breathing

While these effects on their own may not necessarily be life-threatening, individuals with underlying health conditions may be at an increased risk of experiencing more severe side effects.

For example, changes to their hate rate, blood flow, or blood pressure can increase their risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke and heart disease. Cocaine can also cause damage to the body’s blood vessels, particularly through injection drug use, further increasing this risk.

Side Effects of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is also a brain and central nervous system stimulant, meaning that it can have several cognitive impacts on its users. These may include:

FAQs on Can Cocaine Kill You?

Do cocaine overdoses happen often?

When cocaine is abused, it can easily become deadly, especially if it has been laced or combined with other drugs. Taking too much of this drug can have life-threatening consequences in the event of a cocaine overdose.

What should I do if I suspect a cocaine overdose may be happening?

If a cocaine overdose is suspected, the first and immediate step to take is to call for emergency medical services. The most dire effects of cocaine use, including heart attack, seizure, and other life-threatening symptoms, can best be overcome with prompt attention.

What can I do to get help after a cocaine overdose?

The most effective means of recovery from excessive cocaine use comes from residential addiction treatment providers. Inpatient care can give you the tools to overcome cocaine and other drugs and give you the support system you need to take your life back.

Is cocaine more dangerous than it used to be?

Although cocaine itself is not more (or less) dangerous than it used to be, the presence of fentanyl in coke can kill without warning, even if you have an opioid tolerance. For this reason alone, it is recommended that those with cocaine use disorders seek immediate help.

The Signs and Symptoms of a Cocaine Overdose

Cocaine overdose can have many severe consequences, including sudden death. This is because, when an overdose occurs, the user’s heart rate and blood pressure will spike dramatically.

Without immediate emergency help, these issues can continue to worsen, causing possible heart attacks, respiratory failure, seizure, coma, and, of course, death. This is why it is crucial to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose, so that you can call for help.

Some of the most common signs of overdose include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive sweating
  • Labored or slowed breathing
  • Increased body temperature
  • Clamminess
  • Paleness
  • Convulsions, twitches or tremors
  • Chest pain
  • Numbing in the arms
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dry mouth

Extreme overdose cases can even cause more severe physical effects, such as gastrointestinal damage, organ failure, and cerebral bleeding. All of these can cause permanent damage if left untreated, including death.

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The Rise of Cocaine Overdoses in the U.S.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the number of cocaine overdose deaths that occurred in the United States rose from 5,419 in 2014 to an overwhelming 19,447 in 2020.

Several factors contributed to these overdose deaths, including the involvement of other harmful substances and a lack of proper medical treatment. The most common substances that are mixed with cocaine include synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, and alcohol.

Effective Methods of Treating Cocaine Addiction

While cocaine use can easily lead to addiction if these habits are left unchanged, there are several treatment options available to those struggling with this form of drug abuse and its dangers.

In most cases, combining clinical and behavioral treatments has been found to be the most effective way of treating a cocaine use disorder.

Most people will begin their treatment process by going through a medical detox process, which will allow them to be gradually weaned off of an abused substance while under the constant supervision of a medical professional.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This can help make sure they do not develop uncomfortable and possibly dangerous withdrawal symptoms and make their overall recovery process easier.

Once the last traces of cocaine have been removed from their system, the individual will likely be encouraged to move on to other levels of care. This may include inpatient or outpatient treatment, as well as medication-assisted treatment options.

Behavioral therapies may also be used to help treat the underlying causes of a person’s addiction, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as individual, group, and family counseling services.

It may be helpful to speak to your doctor or an addiction specialist to help you narrow down what options will be best for helping you recover from substance abuse and addiction.

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Find the Right Treatment Options for Cocaine

If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine abuse and addiction, getting the help you need is absolutely essential for overcoming these habits and regaining your health. At Find Addiction Rehabs, we can provide you with the support you need, anytime you need it.

Our hotline is available 24/7 to provide you with recovery tools and resources, and find treatment programs that can help you recover from the grips of cocaine abuse and its dangers.

So don’t wait; call now, and we will help you to begin your recovery journey, where you can lead a healthier lifestyle and put cocaine in your past!

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