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Cocaine Overdose Symptoms: Protecting At-Risk Veterans

cocaine overdose symptoms

Cocaine overdoses are on the rise in Florida. In fact, research shows that one in five fatal overdoses are related to cocaine use. Thus, it’s important to recognize cocaine overdose symptoms so that you can get help before it is too late. Today, we will take a look at cocaine overdose symptoms as well as treatment options for cocaine addiction so that you do not have to put your life at risk for this dangerous substance.

Cocaine Facts to Know

According to reports from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the main types of drugs that veterans need substance abuse treatment for is cocaine. Unfortunately, the rate of cocaine overdoses are on the rise. In fact, over 16,000 people died from overdosing on cocaine in just one year. This means that people who struggle with an addiction to cocaine, particularly veterans who are susceptible to this type of substance abuse, are at a high risk of dying because of cocaine use.

With this being said, there are some important cocaine facts that you should know in order to best protect yourself from the dangers of this substance. To begin, there are different names for cocaine. Some examples of these names would be:

  • Coke
  • Rock
  • Blow
  • White dragon
  • Crack

Cocaine can be snorted, smoked, injected, or consumed in other methods. All methods of using cocaine can put you at risk for an overdose because of the side effects that come with it. Though cocaine was once produced legally as a type of pain control, cocaine is now illegal in the United States, but it is commonly purchased through illicit means. 

Because of its pain relieving tendencies, people who have injuries or chronic pain often use cocaine as an unhealthy way to deal with pain. This means that veterans who have service injuries also often turn to cocaine to relieve pain. Of course, the consequence of this is addiction and the possibility of causing an overdose.

Another fact to know is where cocaine falls within the drug class categories. The cocaine drug class, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, is a Schedule II drug. This means that it is one of the most addictive substances out of all illicit drugs. Other Schedule II drugs include morphine, codeine, and narcotics like fentanyl, which are proven to be deadly. Schedule I drugs are most likely to be abused and cocaine, being Schedule II, follows closely behind those highly addictive substances.

Lastly, one final fact to know is that when users smoke or ingest cocaine, the high that comes after usually only lasts for approximately 15 to 30 minutes. But cocaine can remain in the body and be detected in the blood, hair, spit, and urine for days or even months after taking it. And the cocaine high might not last very long, but the side effects can easily cause short- and long-term concerns—including cocaine overdose.

Signs of Cocaine Overdose

cocaine drug abuse by Veterans

Cocaine overdose symptoms can be both physical and mental. On the mental health side of things, the signs of cocaine overdose can include having anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and experiencing hallucinations. For people who have preexisting mental health conditions such as depression or PTSD, these mental health side effects of cocaine overdose can be even more extreme.

Veterans who struggle with substance use frequently have mental health conditions on top of the addiction to drugs or alcohol. So, the chances of veterans experiencing worsening mental health symptoms when using drugs like cocaine are very likely. If you have recently used cocaine and start seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there or if you begin to feel sensations of panic, you might be having an overdose.

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Other signs of cocaine overdose are physical and can be just as serious as the mental health side effects. Physical symptoms of cocaine overdose include:

  • Raised body temperature
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Each minute that passes as you are having an overdose brings more and more risk for death. Also, there is no guarantee that even if you receive medical attention, you will be safe. The only true way to protect yourself from cocaine overdose symptoms would be to seek addiction help.

Recovering from Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

The recovery time from a cocaine overdose is tricky because the side effects can continue long past the actual overdose. Things like lasting mental health symptoms, heart problems, and even future strokes are possible after having an overdose. 

However, recovery from cocaine overdose symptoms can begin before you even experience the overdose to protect you from all of the risks. Treatment centers around Florida are prepared to help veterans heal from addiction before an overdose happens. In cases where addiction and mental health both need to be addressed, specialized rehabilitation facilities can help with recovery through particular intervention methods that include:

  • Individualized therapy
  • Group sessions
  • Art therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Other aspects of treatment that are helpful for veterans involve having access to safe, supervised detox from cocaine and other substances. Plus, treatment should prepare veterans for life after rehab with services such as nutritional education, job-ready preparation, and community resources for life-long recovery. All of these elements combine to help veterans decrease the chances for overdosing on cocaine or other risky substances.

Treatment for Veterans at Heroes’ Mile

cocaine rehab for veterans

Additionally, for veterans, it’s important to get treatment that is made specifically for service members. Luckily, Heroes’ Mile is a rehabilitation center that was created by veterans to help other veterans with addiction recovery. Our mental health and substance use experts are prepared to help each veteran who struggles with cocaine addiction.

For more information on all of your recovery options at Heroes’ Mile, give us a call at 888-838-6692. Not quite ready to talk? You can opt to submit a confidential contact form instead with all of your questions and concerns. Regardless if you need safe detox, residential treatment, partial hospitalization options, or intensive outpatient programming, we are here to work with your needs so that you can protect yourself from cocaine overdose symptoms.


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