Most people who take cocaine want to experiment with it. The substance is popular because it is said to make people feel alert and energetic.
It is important to remember that cocaine is scheduled in many parts of the world, which means it can mostly be purchased illegally.
Buying cocaine in this manner increases the chances of triggering negative health outcomes, such as cardiac issues, withdrawal, and overdose. This is true even when buying cocaine in its purest form.
The only way to truly prevent an overdose is to abstain from using cocaine. But it is inevitable that some people will take cocaine even when cautioned against it.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cocaine-related overdoses rose by 52.4 percent per data from 2015 and 2016.
Recognizing the signs of an overdose could allow you to help someone you know quickly before it’s too late. Learn what to look for and what to do.
Taking too much cocaine is not just about the amount that is ingested. It also involves understanding how long it stays in the bloodstream.
Because cocaine is not legal in many areas, there is no maximum or minimum recommended dosage. And, because it is not regulated, it’s tough to know what is actually in each batch purchased on the street.
Everyone is different, but commenters on forums such as Reddit have self-reported that 1 gram is too much for some people in a span of 1 to 3 hours. Other users report that they never go above half a gram per session.
Keep in mind that the scientific community has not studied the effects of these amounts. These are just based on anecdotal user experiences.
If cocaine is combined with other substances of abuse, such as alcohol, a small amount of cocaine might trigger an overdose.Personal factors, such as age, weight, sex, and co-occurring medical and mental health conditions, can all factor into the amount of cocaine that can trigger an overdose. There isn’t a set amount; it’s different for each person.
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Again, the best way to prevent an overdose is to avoid cocaine use altogether. If you opt to use cocaine anyway, some things you can do to avoid an overdose are listed below.
The signs of a cocaine overdose are similar to those of an overdose from other drugs. Per MedlinePlus, look out for these signs if you know someone has taken cocaine:
More serious indicators of an overdose include the following:
Many people are afraid to call 911 if they are in the presence of illegal drugs. However, calling for help if you suspect someone has overdosed on cocaine could save their life.
Many states have laws in place to protect those who call in an overdose or attempt to help someone who is overdosing.
The most important thing you can do if someone is overdosing is call 911. The DEA says that doing nothing could result in the person dying or becoming injured. When calling for help, be ready to provide information, such as:
This information will help professionals address the overdose better.
As you wait for help, the 911 dispatcher may also instruct you to help until the paramedics arrive.
They may ask you to check the person’s pulse or breathing, or to move them onto their side if you can.
Try to stay calm and follow their directions closely.
As soon as emergency dispatchers arrive, they will take over.
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(March 2017) Cocaine intoxication. Medline Plus. from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000946.htm
(July 2018) What is cocaine? National Institute on Drug Abuse. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
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(November 2018) Harm Reduction Strategies When Using Cocaine. Verywell Mind. from https://www.verywellmind.com/harm-reduction-tips-for-cocaine-users-21993
(May 2016) This is what cocaine does to your body and brain. Independent. from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/what-cocaine-does-to-your-body-and-brain-a7017201.html
(March 2018) Is 1 gram of coke in 3 hours too fast/too much? Reddit. from https://www.reddit.com/r/Drugs/comments/8agtvw/noob_question_is_1_gram_of_coke_in_3_hours_too/
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(September 2017) How to Best Handle an Overdose. University of Utah Health. from https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_4qmgmj0n