A cocaine overdose describes the physiological event that occurs when someone takes more of the drug than their body can cope with.
When cocaine reaches a toxic level in the brain, it becomes life-threatening.
This highly addictive stimulant drug speeds up body functions. Once it enters the central nervous system, it typically raises blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate. It also affects mood and mental functioning, as well as the digestive system.
When an overdose occurs, these effects have reached levels that can be acutely damaging. Stress on the cardiovascular system can result in internal bleeding, heart attacks, and other organ failures. Serious neurological damage can also occur as overdose can cause seizures and blood vessels tearing in the brain.
An overdose on cocaine does severe long-term damage to the body, including:
- Cerebral hemorrhaging
- Brain damage
- Extreme dehydration
- Lung failure
- Heart failure
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were over 14,600 cocaine overdose deaths in the US in 2018. If you notice symptoms in someone you are with, call your local emergency services immediately, as the treatment they receive could be life-saving. However, in the long term, the only way to avoid the risk of overdose from cocaine is to quit using it.