Cocaine is a very powerful stimulant which is made from the leaves of coca plants native to South America. Short-term euphoria, high energy and a talkative manner are some of the side effects along with potentially hazardous physical effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. Whether cocaine use can be fatal depends on many factors.

Dangers of Cocaine

Many ingredients contained in cocaine can be dangerous when ingested. Sudden death, acute medical and psychiatric illness are just a few major side effects. Physiological effects of cocaine include increased blood pressure, heart rate, dilated pupils, insomnia and loss of appetite. Widespread abuse of pure street cocaine has led to many severe health consequences for people including stroke, cardiac arrest and cocaine overdose.

Serious Adverse Side Effects

Medical complications of cocaine reflect the way cocaine’s ingredients interact with a person’s body. Cardiovascular complications including arrhythmias and sudden death may occur along with neurological complications including seizure, brain haemorrhage or injury due to seizures and other events. Anxiety and panic are psychological symptoms which may occur and, as a result, may cause a person to die from using cocaine even if overdose was not the initial reason.

Signs of Overdose

Fatal instances of cocaine overdose have been reported due to other systemic effects of cocaine overdose. No specific therapy or antidote for acute cocaine toxicity has been found. Overdose can be fatal the first time a person uses cocaine. Some signs of overdose may include stroke, cardiac arrest and  heart arrhythmia among others. Overdose is treated by taking vital signs with some medicines such as benzodiazepines being used to help symptoms. Additional medication should only be taken under supervision of professionals and never in combination with other drugs. Long-term treatment to address cocaine overdose requires drug counseling in combination with medical therapy.

Cocaine addiction occurs when it takes more of the drug to feel the same effects. Cocaine highs don’t last and people will seek that high feeling by taking it again and again. Twelve step support groups can be helpful as well. Taking too much cocaine is a sign a problem exists and it’s time to seek help. Treatment options exist to help quit cocaine and other drugs and is worth investigating if a problem exists.


Hired Power provides compassionate, healthy recovery assistance programs. Call us at 714-559-3919 to speak with our professional staff who are ready to assist you in recovery.