Signs Of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance. What starts off as seemingly harmless experimentation can quickly develop into a potentially life-threatening addiction with devastating personal, professional, financial, and familial consequences.

By recognizing the signs of Cocaine abuse, you can get your loved one the help they need before an addiction takes hold.

Common signs of Cocaine use include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Long periods of wakefulness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overconfidence
  • Over-excitement
  • Paranoia
  • Runny nose or frequent sniffles
  • White powder around nostrils
  • Legal issues
  • Missing or being late to work
  • Financial problems
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Depression

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The Dangers Of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a dangerous drug in part for its highly addictive potential, but it also poses serious risks on a person’s overall health. There are both short and long-term dangers associated with Cocaine use, ranging from overdose to organ failure. Cocaine abuse constricts blood vessels, which causes an increase in unhealthy blood pressure. Snorting Cocaine can also cause serious damage to the nasal cavity and septum.

The effects of Cocaine are felt relatively quickly and are short-lived compared to other substances—only lasting roughly 30 minutes. Taken in smaller doses, Cocaine produces effects of happiness, sociability, concentration, and a decreased need for sleep.

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However, larger amounts of Cocaine are particularly dangerous. Large doses can cause violent behavior, nosebleeds, heart attacks, strokes and even death. Common adverse side effects of Cocaine use include:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Coma
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Seizures

The extent to which long-term side effects become more severe depends on the frequency and amount of Cocaine used for an extended period of time. Over time, Cocaine abuse can affect the brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system. Continued abuse of Cocaine can also lead to harmful behavioral and physiological side effects, such as depression and damage to the nasal cavity.

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Recognizing A Cocaine Addiction

While abuse often leads to addiction, they are not the same. Cocaine abuse often causes immediate negative consequences, but some people who abuse Cocaine are capable of quitting on their own. Cocaine addiction is more complex.

Cocaine use disorders are measured on a spectrum ranging from mild to severe. The criteria are based on the negative impact that Cocaine has on the user’s life, from consequences at work to strained interpersonal relationships.

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Intervention For A Cocaine Problem

Once a Cocaine addiction has been realized, the next step is to make sure the person affected seeks help. Many times those suffering from an addiction may deny they have a problem or refuse to seek treatment.

Setting up an intervention is a powerful way to persuade someone you care about to get the help they need.

Interventions should be handled in a safe, encouraging environment. It’s important to make your loved one understand that you want to help. If someone you know is exhibiting the symptoms of Cocaine addiction, it’s important that you bring it up before it’s too late.

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Withdrawal From Cocaine, Treatment, And Next Steps

Cocaine use results in an excess amount of the happiness-inducing biochemical known as dopamine by blocking its reuptake. After a Cocaine binge, the brain isn’t able to produce natural amounts of dopamine on its own. This is why those who are addicted need the drug to simply feel normal.

Cocaine withdrawal doesn’t typically produce physical symptoms, but psychological symptoms can range from depression to fatigue.

Giving up Cocaine doesn’t require medical detox and is generally not life-threatening. However, finding treatment, whether it be rehab, therapy, or a 12-step program, can increase the chances of successfully quitting. These treatments help people cope with withdrawal, cravings, and reestablishing a drug-free life. Contact a treatment provider today.

Published:

Author

Jeffrey Juergens

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  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

Theresa Parisi

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  • Theresa Parisi is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager (CBHCM), and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) with over 12 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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Reviewed by Doctor of Addiction Medicine:

Dr. Ashish Bhatt, MD

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  • Addiction Center’s Medical Content Director, Dr. Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO is an accomplished physician, addiction medicine specialist, and psychiatrist with over 20 years of medical and administrative leadership.

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