Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

Cocaine overdose can have a devastating impact on the user and may lead to respiratory failure or possible death if left untreated. The majority of fatal cocaine overdoses are the result of seizures or cardiac arrhythmia. According to the University of Arizona Methamphetamine and Other Illicit Drug Education, the following symptoms often lead to death as a result of cocaine overdose:

  • respiratory failure
  • seizures
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • hyperthermia
  • kidney failure
  • brain hemorrhaging
  • stroke

Cocaine overdose symptoms can range from a loss of consciousness to a spike in heartbeat. Although overdose generally occurs following repeat use of the drug, there are also risks associated with cocaine toxicity occurring after just a single dose in some users. Studies suggest that some users are simply more prone to the toxic effects of cocaine than others and that the actual dosing level may not have much to do with certain cases of cocaine overdose.

How Cocaine Overdose Occurs

cocaine abuse effects

Trouble breathing, chest pain, and feeling very hot are signs of a cocaine overdose.

According to Methoide, “cocaine overdose can result regardless of the route of administration.” Risk of cocaine overdose is increased when a user injects the drug. Smoking cocaine is highly risky as well with snorting the drug being the lease possible method of developing an overdose. Cocaine overdose risks is further increased if the drug is used with other substances such as alcohol or prescription drugs.

Physical Symptoms of Overdose

The physical symptoms of a cocaine overdose can often be felt before the serious consequences of the overdose set in. If you suspect that you may be overdosing or that someone you know has overdosed on cocaine, seek prompt medical attention by calling 911. Pay close attention to the following symptoms of cocaine overdose:

  • nausea and vomitting
  • chest pain or tightness in the chest
  • difficulty breathing
  • rapid breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • fever or feeling very hot
  • tremors that will not subside

Serious Effects of Cocaine Overdose

The following side effects or symptoms of cocaine overdose are serious and warrant the need for immediate medical attention:

  • seizures
  • convulsions
  • coma
  • extreme chest pain
  • hallucinations
  • panic

In addition to these symptoms, users may experience the following psychological symptoms of an overdose on cocaine:

  • paranoia
  • anxiety
  • fear
  • panic
  • agitation
  • inability to focus
  • delirium

Don’t take cocaine overdose lightly…any suspected case of an overdose should be immediately reported by calling 911.