Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug that can be snorted, smoked or injected. It causes an intense high that doesn’t last very long, triggering an intense compulsion to obtain another dose. If you use cocaine habitually, you will find that as time passes it takes a higher dose to attain the same effect. This can cause you to keep increasing the amount you are using, and you may end up using dangerous amounts of this powerful substance, leading to a cocaine overdose.
The Dangers of Cocaine Use
Cocaine’s effects on the body and brain occur almost as soon as the drug is taken. The user feels alert and extremely happy, and this uplifted feeling lasts from 5 to 30 minutes. But like other stimulants, cocaine causes the body temperature and blood pressure to rise and the heartbeat to become more rapid. This can be deadly when taken in large doses, especially if you have any type of heart condition.
Signs of Cocaine Overdose
Cocaine overdose can happen if you use a toxic amount of the substance. The amount that is actually toxic can vary from one person to another, and when a person overdoses on cocaine, it is often unintentional. Overdose can occur the very first time you use it or it can happen after you have been using it for months or years. Signs of cocaine overdose include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Severe agitation
It can be especially dangerous for your brain, heart and other organs when you mix cocaine with other substances, particularly heroin. The most dangerous impact on your body involves the effect of cocaine on the heart and blood vessels. An irregular heartbeat can lead to a heart attack or stroke, or you may develop nerve damage that can lead to seizures. Frequent use of cocaine increases the risk that you will eventually cause permanent damage to the blood vessels of the brain, heart or respiratory system, which could lead to sudden death. Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse: What is Cocaine?