What Happens When You Swallow Cocaine?

swallowing cocaine

Cocaine, a powerful stimulant known for its potential to cause euphoria and increase energy, is commonly snorted, injected, or smoked. Less frequently, it may be ingested, an act that carries significant health risks.

This guide is intended for those who find themselves or someone they care about in the precarious situation of having accidentally ingested cocaine, providing vital steps and information to navigate this emergency.

Immediate Steps to Take if You Have Ate Cocaine

If you or someone near you has accidentally ingested cocaine, it’s crucial to act promptly:

  1. Assess the Situation: Determine the amount ingested and the time since ingestion.
  2. Emergency Response: If the individual is unconscious, having seizures, or showing severe symptoms, call emergency services without delay.
  3. Stay Calm: If the person is conscious but distressed, reassure them, encourage calm, and avoid panic. Remain with them and monitor their condition closely.

Can Someone Actually Eat Cocaine?

The answer is yes, cocaine can be consumed orally. However, this is highly discouraged due to the severe health risks associated with it.

The Reality of Oral Consumption

Although not as frequently portrayed in media or popular culture as snorting or injecting, it is possible to ingest cocaine. In the past, indigenous communities in South America used to chew coca leaves, which is the natural origin of cocaine, to experience its mild stimulating effects during extended working days. However, the recreational use of the purified form of cocaine is far more potent and hazardous when consumed.

How Cocaine is Consumed by Mouth

Some people use cocaine by rubbing it on their gums or swallowing it directly. They may think that this method is safer or produces a less intense high, but these assumptions are incorrect. Cocaine that is absorbed through the oral mucosa or stomach lining enters the bloodstream and affects the body in the same way as when it is used through other methods, with a delay in onset.

The Risks Involved with Eating Cocaine

Eating cocaine carries unique risks and can lead to severe health consequences:

  • Delayed Onset, Increased Risk of Overdose: The delayed effects of cocaine when ingested can lead users to consume more than intended, significantly increasing the risk of overdose​​​​.
  • Systemic Toxicity: Unlike other methods that localize cocaine’s effects (e.g., snorting affecting the nasal passages), eating cocaine subjects the entire body to its toxic effects, risking damage to the stomach and intestines as well as systemic effects on the heart and nervous system​​​​.
  • Health Complications: Oral consumption of cocaine can lead to gastrointestinal issues, altered heart rhythms, seizures, and even cardiovascular collapse. The risk of these severe outcomes underscores the importance of avoiding this method of use​​​​.

Symptoms of Cocaine Ingestion to Watch For

Be alert for symptoms indicative of cocaine poisoning:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Tremors and restlessness
  • Anxiety, paranoia, or panic
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Irritability and mood swings

These symptoms can escalate quickly and vary in intensity.

Addressing Cocaine Consumption Risks

Cocaine consumption, whether through oral or nasal routes, poses serious health risks, including systemic toxicity and potential for addiction. Both methods of intake can lead to significant health complications and have a profound impact on mental health, highlighting the dangers associated with cocaine use. The risk of addiction underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing cocaine misuse.

If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, support and treatment are available. At Ocean State Recovery, we offer comprehensive programs designed to help individuals overcome addiction. Reaching out for help is a critical step toward recovery and a healthier future.