An overdose is an event where an individual ingests a critically high amount of a physically altering substance which then causes severe side effects or possible death. Most illicit drugs carry the risk of causing an overdose when abused, although some substances have a higher likelihood of this than others. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance addiction, it is important to know the dangers of substance-specific abuse, the symptoms of an overdose, and what to do in the event that someone experiences one. 

Dangers of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is commonly snorted through the nose but can also be smoked, injected, or taken orally. While cocaine abuse harms multiple organs, the heart is the most vulnerable to damage incurred by prolonged use. As a stimulating substance, cocaine aggressively increases an individual’s heart rate and blood pressure, leading to an increase in oxygen demand which puts strain on the cardiovascular system.

In a study conducted by the American Heart Association, 594 of 11,258 patients were recently treated for heart failure across 83 hospitals due to stimulant drug use (96% cocaine, 5% methamphetamine). The AHA also states that stimulant drug use patients were more likely to experience three or more hospitalizations within a 6-month timeframe. 

Can I Overdose on Cocaine?

Yes, you can easily overdose on cocaine. Cocaine greatly affects the cardiovascular system, putting stress on the heart. Both long-time users and new users can experience a fatal overdose. Data collected by the CDC shows that drug overdose deaths involving cocaine increased by more than 34% In 2017, with almost 14,000 Americans dying from an overdose involving cocaine. 

Symptoms of a Cocaine Overdose

These are warning signs to look for if you suspect that you or someone near you is experiencing a cocaine overdose. These warning signs include: 

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Profuse sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Tremors
  • Seizure
  • Heart attack 

What Should I Do in the Event of a Cocaine Overdose?

If you or someone nearby is experiencing a cocaine overdose, it is important to call 911 right away. While you wait for medical assistance to arrive, apply a cold compress to help reduce body temperature. If the individual is having a seizure, keep them away from any surrounding objects to prevent further bodily injury. If they are still conscious, try to keep them calm and help them to practice deep, stable breathing. 

Once on the scene, medical professionals may administer a number of medications to help curb side effects. The individual will then be taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and observation. In the event that a person survives a cocaine overdose, it is extremely important that they seek professional addiction treatment. If a cocaine overdose occurs, it is likely that it will happen again if the abuse is left untreated. 

We Can Help 

Being a highly addictive and potent substance, cocaine use can lead to an overdose. Fortunately, help is available for those battling a cocaine addiction. Depending on the stage of an individual’s addiction, they may require detox, an intensive treatment program, or both. Fortunately, Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling with this addiction. 

Services offered: 

Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of cocaine. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable. 

Addiction Treatment –  During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready. 

Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility. 

Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.

Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an addiction expert today. 

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