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Effects of Crack Cocaine
Cocaine overdose is a real and potentially deadly threat to anyone who uses cocaine, whether they are first time users or have used cocaine many times in the past, and deaths from cocaine overdoses have been on the rise in recent years.
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It is important to recognize the symptoms of a cocaine overdose because immediate medical care increases a person's chances of survival. If a person may be suffering from a cocaine overdose, call for emergency medical help immediately.
Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that has powerful mental and physical effects on its users. Some of the physical effects of cocaine can be deadly, especially if the cocaine user overdoses. Because the strength and chemical makeup of cocaine changes from batch to batch, any time a person uses cocaine they take the risk of a cocaine overdose. A cocaine overdose often causes death due to heart attack or stroke, though an overdose of cocaine can also damage other organs and body functions.
The use of cocaine among young people has been declining in recent years, but the number of cocaine-related deaths has actually increased in many parts of the US. The cocaine statistics about cocaine overdoses and deaths point to a worrisome problem:
Though anyone using cocaine may suffer a cocaine overdose, there are some conditions that make an adverse reaction or cocaine overdose more likely:
Cocaine overdose can happen quickly, and a person suffering from a cocaine overdose needs immediate medical attention. Some signs that a person may be suffering from a cocaine overdose, or having a cocaine-induced heart attack or stroke, include:
If a person has taken cocaine and may be suffering from an overdose, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately. The operators at 9-1-1 or the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can give advice on first aid and help you determine if the person needs an ambulance or should be driven to the hospital. Remember that no one who has been using drugs or alcohol should drive.
There is no treatment for an overdose of cocaine, but medical professionals can sometimes combat the effects of a cocaine overdose. Some of the treatments used may lower the person's body temperature and blood pressure, prevent or manage seizures, heart attacks, and strokes, assist in breathing, and treat severe psychological reactions.
Despite these medical interventions, a cocaine overdose can still be fatal. The best way to prevent a cocaine overdose is to avoid using cocaine or to get treatment for a person who is using cocaine.
The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, "Cocaine" [online]
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Unintentional Drug Poisoning in the United States" [online]
National Institute on Drug Abuse, "NIDA InfoFacts: Cocaine" [online]
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, "Drug Abuse First Aid" [online]
American Heart Association, "Heart Attack Symptoms and Warning Signs" and "Stroke Warning Signs" [online]
The Palm Beach Post, "Cocaine: Deadlier Than Ever" [online]
Society for the Study of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs, Addiction Journal, "Cocaine-related Deaths Rise in Warm Weather" [online]
Related Article: Effects of Injecting Cocaine >>