Person about to smoke crack cocaine

Can You Overdose on Cocaine? – What You Should Know

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant. Even one dose of this drug can be enough to develop an addiction and suffer its negative health consequences. Every time a person snorts, smokes, or injects cocaine, there is a possibility of an overdose.

In 2021, more than 24,500 people died from a cocaine overdose. The numbers are rapidly rising every year. To prevent an overdose and get a person’s life back on track, it’s essential to seek professional medical assistance. In many cases, it may be best to seek addiction treatment for cocaine abuse.

Inland Detox is the leading detox and rehabilitation facility in Southern California. It has helped hundreds of people regain their health and lead fulfilling lives.

The Difference Between Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Chemically, crack cocaine and cocaine are identical. To make crack, manufacturers dissolve cocaine in water, add baking soda, and heat the mixture. This creates a highly concentrated substance.

The main differences between these two drugs are:

  • Form – cocaine is powder, while crack is a rock.
  • Consumption – for cocaine, it’s snorting and injections, while for crack, it’s smoking.
  • Punishment – the law punishes people for sales and possession of crack more severely than for sales and possession of the same amount of cocaine.
  • Effect – the effect of smoking crack usually comes faster than the effect of snorting cocaine.
  • Duration – the duration of crack-related effects is shorter than the duration of cocaine effects.

Since their pharmacological makeup is identical, both crack and crack cocaine are addictive. In fact, crack cocaine can be somewhat more addictive since the effect is fast and short-lived. These properties also make it easier to overdose when smoking crack cocaine.

Can You Overdose on Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine users may be at a higher risk of overdosing than cocaine users. When people smoke crack, the substance enters the bloodstream immediately and reaches the brain quickly. That’s why the effect is so fast. Meanwhile, the dangers of overdosing are greater.

Dangers of Overdosing on Cocaine

According to studies of non-fatal cocaine overdoses, 17% of people who injected cocaine experienced an overdose at least once. The same was true for 6% of people who consumed cocaine without injecting it. There are a few signs of a cocaine overdose that people can be mindful of. 

Symptoms of a cocaine overdose include:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pains
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Delirium and paranoia

The severe consequences of a cocaine overdose include seizures, heart attacks, strokes, coma, and death. These consequences are more likely for people with underlying health conditions, such as heart, kidney, and lung problems.

An overdose isn’t the leading cause of death for crack and cocaine users. The majority of them die from AIDS and homicide. According to studies, around 10% of crack cocaine users die from a drug overdose.

How Much Cocaine Does It Take to Overdose?

The amount of cocaine a person needs to consume to overdose depends on many different factors:

  • Individual tolerance to cocaine – cocaine users build up a tolerance over time. In the race to feel the positive effects of the drugs, they may take too much of it for their body to handle.
  • Drug purity – drug manufacturers and dealers, tend to add dilutants to cocaine to pump up the volume and earn more money. Some of these dilutants aren’t safe. They may contribute to the overdose.
  • Additives – sometimes, drug manufacturers add other illicit substances to cocaine, such as heroin. This could lead to a faster overdose, especially for people with underlying health conditions.
  • Alcohol – some people drink alcohol before or after using cocaine. Mixing these two substances could lead to an overdose.

Overdose occurs differently based on the person ingesting the substance. It’s important to understand that people can experience an overdose the first time they snort, smoke, or inject cocaine. This often happens to new users who try to “keep up” with those who have already built a tolerance.

As with any illegal substance, it’s impossible to foresee the individual effect. A seemingly healthy person may face an overdose even if they’ve never used drugs before. Meanwhile, a drug user with a “track record” and various comorbidities may not experience an overdose for years. 

Who Is at Risk of Crack or Cocaine Overdose?

Everyone who uses crack or cocaine is at risk of having an overdose. However, some people are more prone to overdoses than others. The key risk factors include:

  • Mixing cocaine with alcohol, medication, amphetamines, opioids, and other illegal substances.
  • Having health problems, especially heart and lung issues or kidney disease.
  • Having mental health issues.

People who use cocaine alone are more likely to die from an overdose since there isn’t anyone to help them.

Can You Prevent a Cocaine Overdose?

Many people who use cocaine mistakenly believe they can prevent an overdose by closely monitoring their consumption amounts. In reality, it’s impossible to predict how a person’s body will react to each new dose, especially if the drug’s purity is questionable (which it often is).

The only way to prevent a cocaine overdose is to treat the cocaine abuse disorder. The risk of overdosing goes away as soon as the person stops using the drug. When left untreated, cocaine addiction can be life-threatening. 

A substance use disorder is a condition that requires a comprehensive approach to treatment. Detoxification, rehabilitation, and continuous support are vital to helping a person stay on track.

Find Support for Your Addiction with Inland Detox

Inland Detox is the leading cocaine detox and rehabilitation center in Southern California. It provides comprehensive services to people ready to battle their addiction. The main programs the center offers are:

  • Detoxification – a professional approach to removing toxins from the system and easing withdrawal effects.
  • Residential program – an opportunity to get rid of the addiction with the help of a professional team of doctors while living in a comfortable home-like environment.

Sometimes, when the cocaine use disorder is severe, people can’t see the need for treatment. That’s why Inland Detox provides delicate yet effective intervention services with same-day admission to the treatment program.

Learn more about Inland Detox and its programs for fighting cocaine addiction today.