Signs and Symptoms of a Cocaine Addict

cocaine addict

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that can result in an overdose with just one use.  Or, it can lead to a lifelong addiction to the drug. Sadly, cocaine addiction remains a serious problem in the United States, affecting more than one million Americans and their loved ones. If you or someone you know is addicted to cocaine, don’t hesitate to contact Choices Recovery for help. With guidance from Choices’ addiction recovery experts and the aid of the rehab’s innovative treatment programs, you can develop the skills you need to overcome your cocaine addiction and finally begin on the path to recovery.

How is Cocaine Abused?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that is most often found in powdered form.  It is known as “coke” or “blow,” or as a solidified, rock-like substance known as “crack cocaine.”  Powdered coke is consumed by snorting it or dissolving the powder in water to be injected, Crack cocaine is used by heating the rock crystal in a pipe and inhaling the vapors this process produces. The most dangerous thing about cocaine is that a person can overdose on the first use or anytime thereafter.  Obviously, there is no “safe” way to use the drug. A cocaine overdose occurs when the person uses too much of the drug. This causes a toxic reaction that can result in serious adverse health consequences or death.

How to Recognize a Cocaine Addict

Cocaine has become the drug of choice for individuals looking for a rush of pleasurable feelings, called a “high,” which is a result of changes in the way the brain functions. The intense euphoric feeling users get from cocaine occurs because the drug affects the central nervous system  It increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for regulating feelings of pleasure. Over time, cocaine abuse interrupts the natural process of dopamine production in the brain.  It prevents the chemical from being recycled back into brain cells causing a build-up among nerve cells. As a result, users develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring more and more cocaine to produce those same feelings of euphoria. This possibly leads to a cocaine dependence and addiction. Some common signs of a cocaine addict include:

  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Euphoria
  • Feelings of superiority
  • Irritability
  • Nosebleeds
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Long-Term Cocaine Effects

Because the high associated with cocaine use only lasts for a short period of time, people abusing the drug often fall into a binge and crash pattern, where they repeatedly use cocaine to experience those euphoric feelings brought on by the drug, and to avoid the depression, exhaustion and other negative symptoms brought on by a crash. Sadly, frequent cocaine abuse can result in a cocaine addiction, which can have an adverse effect on the individual’s body, mood, and personal relationships. Some possible long-term cocaine effects may include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Coma
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic headaches
  • Tremors
  • Overdose
  • Death

Contact Choices Recovery for Help

According to national statistics, 1.9 million people use cocaine each month, with the highest rate of use occurring among adults 18-25 years of age. Unfortunately, many users don’t realize that cocaine is highly addictive, and by the time they begin to experience adverse cocaine effects, they may already be addicted to the drug. If you or a loved one is facing an addiction to cocaine, the addiction recovery experts at Choices Recovery can help. The founder and CEO of Choices Recovery, Per Wickstrom, struggled with an addiction to cocaine and other drugs for more than 22 years before getting clean and is now committed to helping others do the same. Contact Choices Recovery today at our toll-free number to speak to a certified substance abuse counselor about your addiction.

Hidden Signs of Cocaine Abuse

When a person is abusing drugs, they will try to hide it from anyone close to them. Drug addiction something that everyone enjoys. It is something that may have started off as fun and games until an addiction is developed. An addict will try to hide their addiction because they are ashamed. They may want help but are afraid to reach out. It is important to know the hidden signs of drug abuse. When the signs are noticeable it is OK to get that person help.

Understanding Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine can make you feel happy and excited. But then your mood can change. They can become angry, nervous, and afraid that someone’s out to get them. They might do things that make no sense.  People who abuse cocaine get a fast rush when it is used. Some people who have an addiction to cocaine begin to rely on it for the energy they thing their body is getting. Cocaine has an effect that makes abusers more alert and moving faster. The heart begins pumping faster and the mind begins races. When the high wears off they can crash for days and become depressed.

When they become depressed without it and have no energy they thought they had before they may begin to panic and figure out anyway to get more.

First Signs of Abuse

When an abuser has run out of cocaine and no longer is high they will begin panicking. You may see them trying to sell anything they can. Money or items may come up missing or they may be gone for days at a time.  If these are things you are noticing, it is ok at this point to ask questions. They may also become very moody, easily agitated, and less productivity. All the signs of when an abuser does not have cocaine are the complete opposite from when they do. When the signs and symptoms go back and forth is the time for suspicion of abuse.

Typical signs and symptoms of current cocaine use

Mood Swings

When a person is abusing cocaine, they can have various mood swings. When they first use it they will become excited and happy. But then their mood can change when the feeling begins to wear off. They can become paranoid, angry, or anxious. They may also do things that don’t make sense.

Runny Nose

People who snort cocaine can have frequent nose bleeds. In addition to nose bleeds they may have a constant runny nose as if they have a cold and they are sniffling a lot.

Dilated Pupils

A person who is under the influence of drugs will have dilated pupils and/or more alert looking eyes that are sensitive to light.

Other Noticeable Signs:
  • Increased agitation.
  • Effusive enthusiasm.
  • Increased movement (i.e. hyperactivity).
  • Increased common cold-like symptoms and/or nosebleeds.
  • Signs of involuntary movements (i.e. muscle tics).
  • Changes in concentration and focus.

Dangerous Side Effects of Cocaine Abuse

One of the most serious effects of cocaine abuse is heart muscle damage. Cocaine may cause damage by inducing cell death in the muscles of the heart (cardiomyopathy). Intravenous cocaine use can lead to inflammation of the inner tissues of the organ (endocarditis).

These cellular effects of cocaine accumulate into serious conditions such as heart attacks and cardiac arrhythmias, which may be fatal. Other symptoms of cocaine-induced cardiotoxicity include:

  • Inflammation of heart muscle.
  • Rupture of the aorta, the major artery leading from the heart.
  • Severe declines in health and life quality due to reductions in cardiac function or severe blood loss.
  • Cocaine-induced heart failure or damage may also increase the risk of stroke, or brain damage resulting from interruptions in the blood supply available to the brain.

The abuse of this drug is also associated with kidney damage. The prolonged use of cocaine is thought to be related to the inflammation of important microstructures within this organ.

If you believe someone you love may be abusing cocaine or any other substance do not hesitate to call for help today. It is never too late to call. Getting them help today could potentially save their life.