Crack Overdose

Crack is known to be a more potent formulation of cocaine that is used by people as a recreational drug. Because the use of crack is primarily unregulated, people who take this drug are at a high risk of overdosing [1, 2].

What is Crack?

Crack cocaine is an example of a stimulant drug and it cause a temporary improvement in the individual’s mental function. Crack is formed by mixing cocaine with weak bases such as ammonia, water or baking soda. This form of cocaine vaporizes at a lower temperature and is easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

It also easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and produce almost instantaneous effect. People who have used crack may manifest with sudden changes in behavior. They may be hyperactive, gets agitated easily, paranoid and suspicious.

They usually have poor oral hygiene with blisters and burns on their lips. They may have high levels of energy despite having a low appetite. Crack has a short half-life so it doesn’t stay in the body for a long period of time. Once this is metabolized by the body, the person may experience depression and severe apathy. This will cause the individual to seek for more crack in order to bring back the feeling of elation [1, 2, 3].

How much is Crack Overdose?

The amount of crack that may overdose an individual depend on several factors. Using crack for a long period of time may increase the tolerance of the individual to crack.

Because of this, they may need to use a higher dose in order to achieve the desired effect. As this continues, their body get used to increasing amount of crack. Although the amount of crack that may overdose an individual differs for every person, taking more than 5grams may lead to cardiac failure [3, 4].

What are Crack Overdose symptoms?

When a person overdoses on crack, they may present with paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. These symptoms may result in them doing harm to themselves or others.

Physical manifestations may include decreased rate of respirations, elevated body temperature, appearance of tremors or seizures or they may collapse and lose consciousness. Serious complications from the overdose of crack include failure of the kidneys, myocardial infarction or heart attack and stroke [4, 5, 6].

What is Crack Overdose management?

Approaching an individual suspected of crack overdose should be done carefully because they may cause harm to others due to the paranoia that they experience. The police may be contacted as well in order to calm the person. When they have calmed down, they should be brought to the hospital right away.

The first priority here is to establish the breathing of the patient. If the respirations are compromised, an artificial airway may be established and they will be connected to a breathing machine. The tremors or seizures that may have developed may be addressed through the use of other medications.

Any other medications taken by the person should be known because antidotes to these drugs may be given as well. The next phase of the management is to enter the patient in a detoxification program to treat their dependence to crack and prevent them from using the drug again [1, 4, 5].

How to prevent Crack Overdose?

The best way to avoid overdosing on crack is to not use the drug at all. As long as the person takes crack, the risk for an overdose slowly increases due to the tolerance for crack that the body develops.

Persons who are known to use crack must be referred to the treatment centers that can help in the management of crack addiction. These centers will not only manage the symptoms associated with crack withdrawal but will also teach coping techniques in order to prevent using crack again [3,4, 5, 6].

The use of crack is very dangerous and an overdose can be fatal. Please share your knowledge about crack overdose in the comment section below.


  1. Project Know. (2016). What Does a Crack Cocaine Overdose Look Like? Retrieved from Projec Know:
  2. Addiction Blog. (2014, March 26). Crack overdose: How much amount of crack to OD? Retrieved from Addiction Blog:
  3. org. (2016). Signs of A Crack Cocaine Overdose. Retrieved from
  4. Brande, L. (2016). Crack Overdose. Retrieved from Drug Abuse:
  5. Doutaz, M. M. (2015, August 22). Crack Overdose Facts And Statistics. Retrieved from Mental Help:
  6. com. (2016). Overdose Facts, Myths and Symptoms. Retrieved from

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