Cocaine poses a great risk to health, as it can easily cause overdose. This drug is rather unpredictable and the reactions it triggers vary from one person to another. Therefore, there is no safe dose of coke that can be considered; people can overdose even from really small amounts of the drug. (Most of the deaths related to cocaine use were caused by accidental overdose.) Cocaine overdose is very painful, symptoms including convulsions, respiratory and heart failure. Most of the cocaine overdoses are fatal, the users suffering from a really painful death.
The physical effects of cocaine are: increase in the blood pressure and respiratory rate, and the rush causing the constriction of blood vessels as the blood pressure increases. If the constriction is very severe, it can cut off entirely or restrict the blood circulation to the brain. Strokes can also be triggered by cocaine abuse, men under the age of forty being under the highest risk rate. Normally, strokes are caused by malformations in the arteries or veins assuring the blood circulation to the brain. If the stroke is caused by cocaine use, the major cause is bleeding in the brain rather than reduction in the blood circulation.
Another physical problem caused by cocaine use is the perforation of the septum (the membrane separating the nostrils at the nose top). Intense nose bleedings are common to cocaine blowers and heavy users have the entire septum dissolved by the corrosive substance. Additionally, the sense of smells becomes less articulate and a constantly running nose and having a hard time swallowing food are main signs of coke addiction.
Even though cocaine can be consumed in several different ways, each type of ingestion poses its own risks. Swallowing the drug can cause gangrene, due to the lack of blood flow, while injecting cocaine can cause several viral and chronic diseases (HIV, Hepatitis C), but also allergies. Cocaine binging makes the user irritated and restless, or even paranoid and anxious.
Rarely, cocaine users experience auditory hallucinations during cocaine psychosis and this can have a traumatic long-term effect on the person.
Alcohol and cocaine are often used together. Even though it has certain dangers, alcohol and cocaine tend to compound their effects. Studies show that alcohol and cocaine cause together the creation of cocaethylene by the liver and the user experiences an even more intense episode of drug abuse. This combination is liked by users because alcohol prolongs the euphoric feelings caused by cocaine use. It only makes sense that cocaine and alcohol are consumed together, since many people start experimenting with cocaine at social events.
At parties, people do not realise that they combine two potentially dangerous substances and that the result can be catastrophic for them. After cocaine administration, users have a higher tolerance to alcohol, being able to drink more substance than ever before. Cocaethylene, created by the liver when a person ingests both cocaine and alcohol, is considered to be a potential trigger of heart failure. Nevertheless, more research is needed in order to confirm this theory.
Among cocaine users, heart failure is diminishing the number of users, mainly because so many young people (30-40 years old) died while using cocaine by overdosing. Especially at parties, people should think twice and consider the consequences a party drug such as cocaine has and not forget that overdose is extremely common.