The lethal dose of cocaine is 82.5 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg).
It’s one of the most widely abused substances in the U.S. In 2014, there were about 1.5 million cocaine users, with the age range of 18 to 25 at the highest potential of cocaine usage.
Determining The Lethal Dose Of Cocaine
Cocaine toxicity is dependent on a person’s specific circumstances. In one case study of 26 deaths, a mean concentration of 21 micrometers was found where only cocaine was present.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug with a high potential for abuse that works by binding to the dopamine transporter in the brain, causing an accumulation of dopamine.
This produces an amplified signal to the receiving neurons, creating a sense of euphoria.
The cocaine binds to membrane-bound proteins. When the interaction occurs, a signal is triggered, and the combination of these effects causes cocaine poisoning.
Because of this, cocaine use contributes to tens of thousands of emergency visits and hundreds of deaths each year.
How Likely Is A Fatal Cocaine Overdose?
In 2017, there were nearly 14,000 deaths involving cocaine. And in 2018, there were 859 fatal cocaine overdoses just within the age group of those 15 to 24.
It is very possible to overdose on cocaine, especially if mixed with substances like alcohol, heroin, and other drugs.
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Recognizing The Warning Signs Of A Cocaine Overdose
There are multiple life-threatening symptoms of a cocaine overdose.
Serious signs to be aware of include:
- chest pain
- cardiac arrest
- slow or labored breathing
- raised body temperature
- nausea or vomiting
Treating A Potentially Fatal Cocaine Overdose
If you or a loved one have used cocaine, it’s important to take action quickly if you notice any of the above symptoms of a cocaine overdose.
Call 911 immediately if you believe someone has overdosed on cocaine.
Keep the person calm in order to lower the heart rate and avoid severe panic setting in. This can fight the onset of cardiac arrest.
If they have a raised body temperature, you can use ice or a damp towel to bring the body temperature back down until emergency assistance arrives.
Find Treatment For A Cocaine Addiction Today
Whether you’re struggling with cocaine addiction or have a loved one who is, you don’t have to walk through the trials of drug addiction alone.
Call our helpline today and talk to one of our representatives. We have trained specialists who are equipped to answer any and all addiction recovery questions.
We’re here to support you. Call us today to learn about the many options in addiction treatment.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine and Psychostimulants with Abuse Potential — United States, 2003–2017
- National Center for Biotechnology Information — Mechanisms of acute cocaine toxicity
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Cocaine Toxicity
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Cocaine Research Report
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed — Modulation of the lethal effects of cocaine by cholinomimetics