Crack overdose: How much amount of crack to OD?

How does an overdose on crack happen and what are the signs of crack overdose? We review here.

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Crack overdose is dependent on tolerance and is related to how crack works in the brain. Crack intoxication usually follows three (3) phases: an early phase of stimulation, a second phase of hyper-stimulation with possible tonic convulsions, tachyarrhythmia, and/or dyspnea, and a third phase of depression of the central nervous system. But how do you know if/when you’ve overdosed on crack? And what are the signs and prognosis for someone overdosing on crack? We review here and invite your questions about crack, crack addictive qualities, or help for crack addictions at the end.

How does a crack overdose happen?

Crack is made of cocaine hydrochloride that has been processed with ammonia or baking soda and water into a form called “freebase”. The mixture is cooled and filtered, and then the “chips, chunks or “rocks” are smoked in a crack pipe.

Smoking crack is a dangerous route of administration by itself, simply because of the way the drug enters the system. When smoked, the drug enters the bloodstream quickly and then crosses the blood-brain barrier to affect neurotransmitters of the central nervous system. chest pain with convulsions can occur during crack inhalation. Additionally, unintentional overdoses of crack can be common, and are almost always caused by the urge for a stronger “high”.

Another common mistakes is poly-drug abuse, which increases the effects of both drugs to dangerous levels. Additionally, the quality of cocaine present in processed crack can vary a lot, and it’s usually difficult to verify the purity of crack bought on the street. Depending on the demographic region, street purity of crack varies from 20% to 80%. However, the more hands that touch the drug, the smaller percentage of purity you get. So, for example, some people might smoke a larger amount of diluted crack, without being aware that in the next dose, a purer sample of crack can cause overdose.

Crack overdose – How much is too much?

In general, crack overdose depends on a person’s 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.

Crack overdose complications

One of the myths related to crack is that is less harmful than powder cocaine, because it has a shorter half-life. The idea that crack cannot cause severe damage or overdose effects is false. In fact, the amount of time crack stays in the body has nothing to do with the level harm that crack can do. Furthermore, crack is highly addictive. The most common signs and symptoms of crack overdose include:

  • agitation
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • coughing that produces black mucus
  • excessive tremors
  • fainting
  • fever
  • hallucinations
  • insomnia
  • itching
  • narrowed pupils
  • problems breathing
  • seizures
  • severe headache
  • shallow breathing
  • slowing heart rate
  • stopping pulse
  • violent behavior
  • vomiting

Crack overdose prognosis

Prolonged use of crack causes adverse effects on the body and brain.

Chronic intoxication and overdose with crack can lead to anorexia, causing weight loss, physical exhaustion, behavioral problems and chronic depression. Furthermore, immunoallergic lung disease can require additional treatment in a medical facility and may 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, which will cause vaginal bleeding, miscarriage and fetus dependent on cocaine.

Crack overdose death rate

Mortality risk among crack cocaine users is greater than that of the general population. About 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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Crack overdose amount questions

Emergency visits caused by crack overdose cases are outnumbered only by alcohol overdose. If you’d like to learn more about crack addiction, how you can find the best crack cocaine addiction treatment program for you, what does the rehab process entail, and crack aftercare options. Help is available TODAY.

If you still have questions about the risks of crack, please feel free to post your questions in the comments section below. Or share a personal opinion. We will try to provide you with a personal and prompt response ASAP.

Reference sources: Indiana Governor Page:Cocaine & Crack
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration: Cocaine
National Library of Medicine: Causes of death among crack cocaine users
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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