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Cocaine Overdose

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Back when you were in college, you used to experiment with drugs. You knew plenty of people who did, and they were readily available at nearly every party you’d attended. It was something you still partook in at times – sometimes things got too stressful or you’d take a hit of whatever was being passed around. It wasn’t a big deal to you, and it helped you feel better.

Recently, however, you heard of a friend who ended up in the hospital. They’d experienced a cocaine overdose. It made you more concerned. You knew of overdoses, but you hadn’t seen it happen in a while since college. You thought you all were more cautious than that. Are overdoses avoidable? Did something happen? Could someone have spotted it and helped prevent it?

Our team at Pacific Sands has heard stories of all kinds when it comes to cocaine use and overdoses. With nearly 8% of California residents aged 18-25 alone reporting past-year cocaine use, we believe it’s a topic that should be discussed. With our team of experts and a drive for solution-focused treatment of cocaine addiction, we believe that shedding light on topics like cocaine overdoses can help our community learn more and help others in the long run.  

What Is A Cocaine Overdose?

An overdose of any kind occurs whenever the body has too much in its system to handle. Your liver, which is one of the primary processing centers for toxins and substances, can only manage so much at a time. If a substance is continually consumed even when the liver is busy, the substance can start to impact other areas of the body. If the levels of this substance get too high, especially in the brain, your body can start to shut down.

The risk of experiencing an overdose increases in those who binge on substances or participate in polysubstance use. 

recovery from cocaine use

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of A Cocaine Overdose?

Learning the signs of an overdose can teach you when to react. If you see someone experiencing these signs, or you start experiencing them yourself, an overdose might be occurring.

  • Chest pain
  • Increased anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased agitation or paranoia 
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stroke

Who Is Most At Risk For A Cocaine Overdose?

There are different factors that can come into play and increase the risk of an overdose.

The biggest factor is how much of a substance is consumed. The more you partake in, and the faster you consume large amounts, the higher your risk is. There isn’t a specific amount that will guarantee an overdose, however. Since cocaine is not a regulated product, each dose could be different which can influence how much is needed to overdose. Other things like what you had to eat in a day, your history of substance use, and even your metabolism can impact how much would be needed to overdose.

The other risk factor for overdosing comes from polysubstance use. Polysubstance use is when you partake in more than one substance, including certain prescription medications, at the same time. Polysubstance use doesn’t have to be intentional for it to happen. It can also occur due to laced substances, such as fentanyl-laced cocaine. Having multiple substances in your system can cause it to become easily overwhelmed, leading to an overdose.

cocaine overdose treatment in california

What To Do In The Event Of An Overdose In California

If you think someone might be overdosing on any substance, cocaine or otherwise, it’s important to reach out for medical help. You cannot get into legal trouble for seeking medical help during the process of an overdose due to California’s Good Samaritan Law. Reaching out for help can save their life.

While waiting for medical help, make sure you note any symptoms that they’re experiencing in order to relay them to the medical professionals. If the person experiences a seizure, make sure to time it. Do not try to hold someone down who is experiencing a seizure, instead move objects away from them so that they don’t hurt themself. If you’re safely able to, slip a small, soft object under their head like a folded-up jacket to better cushion them and prevent any damage to their head. 

After an overdose occurs, it is vital to understand what your options are. You do not have to return to use, there are recovery services available for you, from cocaine detox to inpatient and outpatient treatment. You’re not alone in this. 

If you’re looking to start recovery from cocaine use, Pacific Sands is here to help. Overdoses can sometimes be the final straw we need in order to seek out support. Our team is here and ready to provide you with the full continuum of care needed for long-term healing. Give us a call anytime at 949-426-7962 and we’ll be happy to help.


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