Cocaine is not one of the drugs that people will use to attempt suicide. Anyone with a desire to harm themselves will more likely turn to opiate substances or barbituates. With this in mind, it’s a good bet that anyone who overdoses on cocaine will do so quite by accident. How does that happen? People who overdose on drugs do so in one of three ways. It could happen because they take too much of their substance of choice at the same time. It could happen because the individual takes multiple doses in too close proximity to one another. Finally, someone can get a very potent drug and neglect to cut back the dose. This is very typical for people who fall victim to a cocaine addiction.
Since cocaine is usually cut with other substances to create a larger stockpile, the possibility of a purer form of cocaine coming to the market is always there. A pure form of cocaine can be a killer. It’s very difficult for a substance abuser to recognize they have gone too far and have reached the point of overdose. That’s certainly true for someone with a cocaine addiction. The lift the drug gives to the user serves to only distract them from keeping track of what they are doing. That’s a formula for an overdose catastrophe.
We bring this up because it’s not usually the victim who needs to be aware of their overdose. It’s the people around cocaine users who need to know what a cocaine overdose looks like. To that end, the following sections will address the signs of a cocaine overdose and how to deal with an overdose.
What Are the Key Signs of a Cocaine Overdose?
While a cocaine overdose can be deadly, it’s not quite as deadly as an overdose to opiates or barbiturates. Still, it can do significant damage to any unsuspecting individual. If you or a loved one are using cocaine to the point of addiction, an overdose is always a possibility. Since you have a responsibility to look out for yourself and your loved ones, it would be helpful for you to recognize the signs of said overdose. Here’s a few of them:
- Danderously rapid heart rate and sudden increase in blood pressure
- Profuse sweating
- Extremely nervous and paranoid behavior
- Dilated pupils
- Hallucinations and seizures
- Loss of motor control
- Heart attack or stroke
- Violent and irrational behavior
Any combination of these symptoms is a warning sign the drug user is in trouble.
What to Do if Someone is in the Throes of a Cocaine Overdose
Fast action will save lives when people become victims of a cocaine overdose. If you witness someone overdosing, the first thing you need to do is contact 911. Properly trained individuals will always be in a better position to mediate the damage caused by any overdose to any kind of substance. After that, you need to keep an eye on the victim. They most likely will not be rational so trying to reason or negotiate with them will likely be a waste of time. You should try to keep your distance until help arrives.
What Happens if the Cocaine Overdose Victime Strokes Out or Goes into Cardiac Arrest?
If the individual’s life seems genuinely at risk, you may have to attempt to resuscitate them until professional help arrives. If you have no knowledge of CPR, it would be a good idea to try to get assistance from someone in near proximity who does have CPR training. The most important thing you can do is stay calm and do the best you can to help. In all likelihood, you will only need to keep the overdose victim safe for a few minutes until paramedics arrive.
Before you or a loved one get to the point of an overdose, it might be a good idea for someone to get treatment for a possible addiction. This would even be applicable to someone who overdoses from first-time use. There’s nothing wrong with an ounce of prevention. For more information about our addiction treatment services, please call us at 844-639-8371.