When cocaine hydrochloride is processed with ammonia or baking soda and water into a ‘freebase’ form, Crack Cocaine is created. The ‘rocks’ or ‘chips’ are smoked in a crack pipe when the mixture is cooled and filtered. Crack is a dangerous derivative of cocaine. But can you overdose on crack? Is crack more addictive than cocaine? Because crack cocaine is ingested through smoking, the drug enters the lungs, and then subsequently and almost immediately enters the bloodstream. With the drug entering the bloodstream so quickly, there is an extremely high probability of overdose. Crack cocaine is a dangerous drug, but it is important to understand the effects of crack, and how it works in shutting the body down in an overdose.
What Effects Does Crack Cocaine Have on the Body
As a form of cocaine, crack cocaine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. When the dopamine in the brain increases, crack sets into overdrive the neurotransmitter that controls attention, motivation, and essential motor functions.
Crack cocaine has several negative effects on the body, which include the following:
- Increased body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- A sense of euphoria
Unfortunately, a high from crack cocaine lasts an extremely short amount of time. Because the high from crack is so short, users are quick to use again, which results in repeated doses in a short time. During a crack cocaine overdose, the brain, heart, lungs are at risk of immediate failure. A crack cocaine overdose can very easily result in death.
How Crack Overdose Happens
Overdoses of any drug are a result of the tolerance that the body has to the substance. Crack cocaine is no different. Crack cocaine intoxication comes in three phases:
- Initial stimulation
- Hyper-stimulation with possible tonic convulsions
- Depressed central nervous system
Individuals who overdose on crack, do so because of the highly addictive properties of crack cocaine and how it affects the brain and body. The route of administration for crack cocaine is important because of the way it enters the system. When crack cocaine is smoked, the drug quickly enters the body’s bloodstream before crossing the blood-brain barrier, which affects the central nervous system. Chest pains from convulsions may occur, and unintentional overdoses are common due to a surge in the desire for a stronger ‘high.’ The quality of cocaine in processed crack varies quite a bit, with the purity of street cocaine being highly variable.
Crack Cocaine Doses
A person’s tolerance to crack cocaine will determine the likelihood of an overdose. Chronic use of crack results in high levels of tolerance (or addiction). A higher tolerance increases the risk of overdosing on the drug. Studies have shown that a minimum of 5 grams of cocaine can cause heart attacks and other complications, up to and including death. Some of the complications that result from crack cocaine use include:
- Extreme agitation
- Cold sweats
- Mood swings
- Black mucus
- Excessive tremors
- Slowed heart rate
Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Overdose
An overdose from crack cocaine can cause irreparable damage to the heart, lungs, brain. In some instances, an overdose has been documented to even affect the psyche. Crack cocaine overdose symptoms can be severe and may include the following physical responses:
- Chest pain
- Irregular heart-rate
- Cardiac arrest
An overdose from crack cocaine needs immediate medical attention to maximize the chances of recovery.
Treating a Crack Overdose
An overdose from crack cocaine can be dangerous in both the short- and long term. Some overdose symptoms need to be treated immediately, but an overdose from crack cocaine can also be a sign of a deeper problem, including addiction or substance use disorder.
Initial Crack Cocaine Overdose Treatment Options
Generally, when a drug overdose occurs, certain medications can be administered to reverse the effect of a drug overdose. Many prescription-based opioid overdoses work in this manner. First responders try to mitigate the symptoms of the overdose of the drug first.
A common symptom of a crack cocaine overdose is a heart attack or stroke. When the patient reaches the Emergency Room due to a crack overdose, the goal of medical staff is to use CPR and defibrillators to restore blood or airflow to the heart or brain to help the patient recover quickly.
Crack Cocaine Treatment Options
The risk of a seizure, a heart attack, or stroke can have long-lasting effects on the physical and mental health of the user. Each of these conditions requires intensive speech therapy, physical therapy, or other rehabilitation programs for even a partial recovery. A crack cocaine overdose.
If crack cocaine addiction or substance abuse leads to an overdose, addiction treatment can help. Medically assisted drug detox followed by an intensive inpatient treatment monitors withdrawal symptoms while managing them in a controlled medical environment. The need for additional inpatient or outpatient treatment programs is nearly guaranteed.
Crack Cocaine Addiction? Call Us.
Crack cocaine is a dangerous drug that can kill a person even after using the first time. It is best to beat a crack cocaine addiction and prevent a potential crack cocaine overdose with the assistance of medical professionals. Our medical assisted detox works in assisting people with a crack cocaine addiction find a road to recovery, to a life of better wellness. Give the Better Wellness Group a call to begin your road today before it becomes too late.