How to Know When a Cocaine User Needs Emergency Help

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant, so people who use it are in danger of developing an addiction. Cocaine mimics the natural release of dopamine, a chemical that is released after pleasurable experiences. It makes people want to repeat behaviors that produce pleasure, and is what makes cocaine so addictive. Because it works as a stimulant and speeds up brain activity, many of the body’s systems are affected. This can lead to life-threatening symptoms in cases of overdose. Learning the signs of cocaine overdose can help you know when to seek emergency medical help for your friend or loved one.

Common Cocaine Side Effects

Cocaine produces side effects at any level of use, and these side effects are not always life threatening. The most immediate side effect is euphoria, along with a sense of exhilaration followed by increased confidence. These side effects are not life threatening unless the increased confidence and exhilaration compel dangerous behaviors. Other common side effects of cocaine use include the following problems:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased energy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Decreased appetite
  • Urge to have sex

Knowing the common side effects of cocaine use makes it easier to identify when a friend or loved one is experiencing an overdose.

Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose

Since cocaine addiction involves both psychological and physical side effects, the symptoms of overdose can be varied. A person who is addicted to cocaine develops a tolerance for the drug and needs more to achieve the same result. This is why cocaine overdose can happen easily in those who are addicted. Call for emergency help right away if you recognize any of the following symptoms in your loved one:

  • Increased blood pressure characterized by a fast pulse and increased rate of breathing
  • Agitation, confusion, irritability, excessive sweating and increased body temperature
  • Seizure
  • Chest pain or other heart attack symptoms
  • Unconsciousness

Cocaine addiction and overdose can also cause stroke, fever, infections, kidney failure, hepatitis of the liver, pneumonia and thrombophlebitis (clotting of the veins). If you suspect a cocaine overdose, don’t wait, call for emergency help now.

Help for Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a dangerous illegal substance that is highly addictive. Use of cocaine can lead to life-threatening side effects and death in some cases. Getting help for cocaine abuse and addiction is the best way to prevent an overdose. If your loved one is experiencing any signs of an overdose, call 911 immediately. If you or your loved one struggle with cocaine addiction, we want to answer your questions and help you find a treatment program. Call our toll-free helpline right now as it is open 24 hours a day.

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