The Dangers Of Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

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Mixing cocaine and the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl is becoming increasingly common in the United States. There are several evidence-based treatment services that can help people recover from cocaine addiction.

Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths involving opioids and psychostimulants such as cocaine have increased over the last year.

Cocaine is an illicit drug and stimulant that is derived from the coca plant in South America. It is typically in a powder form or a hard, rock-like form called crack cocaine.

Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is particularly dangerous, as it is increasingly used as a cutting agent in other types of drugs, including cocaine.

Unlike cocaine, fentanyl is a lab-grown drug that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

When used together, people can easily overdose on fentanyl-laced cocaine due to the counteracting effects of both drugs.

Why Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine Is Dangerous

Some drug dealers mix fentanyl and other additives into cocaine formulations to increase profit margins, enhance the effects of the substance, and extend the euphoric high.

The primary danger of using fentanyl-laced cocaine is the conflicting effects both drugs have on the body.

Cocaine abuse will increase energy and body temperature, while depressants such as fentanyl will slow breathing, heart rate, and other bodily functions to dangerously low levels.

This counteracting effect will mask the symptoms of a fentanyl or cocaine overdose.

When people use cocaine cut with fentanyl, they usually don’t even know they’re mixed together. Any form of cocaine, including freebase and crack cocaine can have fentanyl in it.

Side Effects Of Using Cocaine Laced With Fentanyl

While a potentially life-threatening overdose is the most dangerous outcome of using fentanyl-laced cocaine, there are a number of other side effects that may ensue.

Common mental and physical side effects may include:

  • nausea
  • labored breathing
  • seizures
  • development of mental health conditions
  • hallucinations
  • liver, kidney, and lung damage
  • high blood pressure
  • severe pain in the chest
  • permanent damage to the heart and brain

Some of these side effects may occur after using the drug one time, while others may take prolonged abuse to develop, such as due to self-medicating for mental health disorders.

What Are The Symptoms Of Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine Overdose?

A drug overdose occurs when the body has been subject to too much of a given substance and can’t continue to regulate normal bodily functions (such as heart rate or breathing) as a result.

Symptoms of fentanyl-laced cocaine overdose may include extreme anxiety and agitation, high body temperature, hallucinations, irregular heart rhythm, stroke, and trouble breathing.

When someone is exhibiting signs and symptoms of overdose, it’s important to immediately contact emergency medical personnel.

How To Prevent Risk Of Overdose From Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

There are a number of measures that public health officials have put forward that may help stem the tide of fatal overdoses from street drugs such as fentanyl-laced cocaine.

Ways to prevent fentanyl overdose include:

  • more resources for law enforcement to track down drug traffickers
  • making fentanyl test strips more readily available to people who use drugs
  • greater investment in behavioral health care services and other harm reduction measures
  • providing Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray to help prevent a fatal opioid overdose
  • more federal and state funds allocated for low-cost or free rehab centers

Treatment Options For Cocaine Addiction

If you or a loved one are in need of substance abuse treatment, there are evidence-based and holistic therapies available at rehab centers that can help you achieve sobriety.

Cocaine treatment options may include:

  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • medically monitored detox
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • group therapy
  • dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • aftercare services
  • relapse prevention
  • intensive outpatient programs (IOP)

Find Substance Use Treatment For Cocaine Addiction

Call our helpline today for more information on the risks of cocaine addiction and substance use disorder treatment. Our team can assist you in your journey to long-term recovery.


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