How does crack cocaine overdose happen? Crack is usually smoked, which is a dangerous method of administration. When it is smoked, the drug enters the bloodstream quickly and then crosses the blood-brain barrier to affect neurotransmitters of the central nervous system. Unintentional overdoses of crack can be common, and are almost always caused by the urge for a stronger “high”.
How Much Is Too Much?
Generally speaking, whether or not a person overdoses on crack depends on their tolerance to cocaine. Chronic use of cocaine, high levels of tolerance, or addiction, can increase your tolerance to crack. And while it takes a different dose of crack to cause overdose in any individual person, anything higher than 5 grams has been proven to cause heart attacks.
People think that crack is less harmful than powder cocaine due to its shorter half life. This is not true. Crack cocaine can cause severe physical damage and fatal overdose. The fact is, that the amount of time crack stays in the body has nothing to do with its level of harm. It’s dangerous at all levels.
Signs And Symptoms of Crack Overdose
Crack is extremely addictive and can be deadly. Some common signs and symptoms of crack overdose are:
- Cold sweats
- Excessive tremors
- Narrowed pupils
- Problems breathing
- Severe headache
- Shallow breathing
- Slowed heart rate
- Violent behavior
Effects Of Crack Overdose
Chronic use of crack plus overdosing can lead to anorexia, causing weight loss, physical exhaustion, behavioral problems and chronic depression. The person can develop immunoallergic lung disease which can require additional treatment in a medical facility and could develop into a chronic condition. Crack overdose can also cause the development of hemoptysis, pleuritic chest pain, pulmonary infiltrates, asthma, and reactive airway disease. Not to mention the high risk of overdose during pregnancy.
Users of crack cocaine are more at risk for fatalities, than the general population. Approximately 10% of fatalities are caused directly by overdose effects. The most common fatalities related to crack overdose are include the loss of vital functions, partial or full body paralysis, coma, and respiratory and circulatory collapse. Up to 75% of cases of overdose deaths occur within 5 hours after crack administration and the rest occur within 1-2 hours after administration.
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