Substance Use

Crack Overdose: What You Need to Know

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

crack cocaine addict with needle of crack

What You Need to Know About Crack Cocaine Overdose

Crack is a form of cocaine that is usually smoked using a pipe. As it is an illicit addictive drug, users can quickly develop substance abuse disorders from smoking crack regularly. Crack cocaine addiction can result from long-term use, but an overdose can happen the first time someone takes the drug. 

Over 6 million people over the age of 12 in the U.S try crack at least once in their lifetime. Therefore, understanding the risks of a crack cocaine overdose and how to recognize one is essential. 

People with a substance use disorder may be more likely to overdose when smoking crack. This is due to building a tolerance to the drug and needing to take more of it to feel the same effects. If you think you or a loved one might have a substance use disorder, seek help today

Can You Overdose on Crack?

Yes. Crack cocaine overdoses can happen for many reasons. As crack is a street drug, it is difficult to determine its purity. This means although it is a form of cocaine, a user is unlikely to know how much cocaine they are consuming when smoking crack. Crack cocaine overdoses can be life-threatening.

What to Do in An Emergency?

If you suspect someone close to you is overdosing on crack, call 911 immediately. Please call 911 right away to get help and advice for a person who is overdosing.

What Are the Treatment Options for a Crack Overdose?

Someone suffering from a crack cocaine overdose will need medical attention immediately. A crack cocaine overdose is a medical emergency and requires specialist treatment. The severity of the overdose can vary depending on several factors. These include the amount of the drug the person has taken and whether they have consumed any other substances.

The person will need to be stabilized and their body temperature managed. The best course of treatment will be determined depending on their symptoms and medical history. Antidotes may be needed to minimize the overdose effects of crack cocaine. The person may also need intravenous fluids, oxygen, and/or a ventilator

Is a Crack Overdose Dangerous?

A crack cocaine overdose can be very dangerous. Someone experiencing an overdose may die suddenly, have a stroke, have a heart attack, or go into a coma. They may also suffer from respiratory failure. 

How Much Crack Does It Take to Overdose?

The toxic dose of crack cocaine is difficult to determine and depends on many factors. These include the body weight of the individual. Additionally, if the person has been drinking alcohol, this can significantly affect the amount of cocaine needed to overdose. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Crack Overdose?

It’s important to remember that an overdose can happen the first time someone tries crack cocaine or whether they have a history of drug abuse. Someone experiencing a crack cocaine overdose may display the following health effects and symptoms:

  • Changes to body temperature
  • Paranoia, aggression, or sudden mental health changes
  • Nausea 
  • Hallucinations
  • Blood pressure increase
  • Seizures
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest 
  • Respiratory failure 

What Increases the Risk of a Crack Overdose?

Risk factors for a crack cocaine addiction include a substance use disorder or an experienced user with a history of drug abuse. Someone with a substance use disorder will develop a tolerance to the drug, meaning they’ll need to take a higher dose to feel the same effects. Taking a higher dose may result in ingesting an amount that the body can’t handle, resulting in an overdose and potential fatalities. 

Other risk factors include drinking alcohol or taking other substances in combination with crack. 

Treatment options are available if you have a substance use disorder or are concerned about a loved one’s crack cocaine use. Our healthcare professionals are skilled in addiction treatment. You can call our helpline for more information on our treatment options at (855) 430-9439.

Why Does a Crack Overdose Occur?

A crack overdose occurs because cocaine is a stimulant drug that speeds up different areas of the body. Taking too much of a stimulant can increase the heart rate to dangerous levels, potentially leading to a heart attack. Taking too much crack also affects the brain and can result in various psychological effects, such as paranoia and hallucinations. When someone overdoses on crack, they overstimulate different areas of the body. 

How to Tell Someone Is on Crack

The effects of crack cocaine can sometimes be recognizable. If you think a loved one has partaken in crack cocaine use, look out for the following signs:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Weight loss
  • Energy increase
  • Mental health problems like anxiety and depression
  • Potential withdrawal symptoms, such as agitation

Why Would Someone Take Crack?

Many people that engage in crack cocaine use do so for the “high” it produces. They may be suffering from mental health problems and turn to smoking crack for a sense of release. Others may take it for energy or along with other substances, such as alcohol, to stay up and party for longer.

How to Help Someone with a Crack Cocaine Use Disorder

A crack cocaine use disorder can be very serious. It can significantly affect your life or the life of a loved one. Substance use disorders can result in plenty of health conditions and social issues. Recovery from a crack addiction can be challenging, but it becomes much more manageable with the proper support at a treatment facility.

Our highly experienced healthcare providers specialize in treating substance use disorders. We support patients throughout all stages of the recovery treatment process. This includes managing withdrawal symptoms through detox during our outpatient or inpatient treatment programs and beyond. We also know how important it is to tackle behavioral health conditions relating to addiction.

Our holistic approach can help you or a loved one beat your substance use disorder.

Contact us today for information on our treatment programs and the treatment process. If you’d prefer, you can call our helpline, our phone number is (855) 430-9439.