Do You Know the Signs of Cocaine Abuse?

a man relaxes on a couch thinking about signs of cocaine abuse

signs of cocaine abuseWhether snorted, smoked or injected into the blood stream, cocaine abuse can cause damage to a loved one’s mental and physical health, relationships, employment and financial well-being. Cocaine is an expensive and highly addictive stimulate.

Researchers have called cocaine “the perfect heart attack drug” because users (even so-called recreational users) have been found to have higher blood pressure, stiffer arteries and thicker heart muscle walls than non-users — all of which can cause a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association.

It does some major damage to your mental health, too. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 68 to 84 percent of cocaine addicts will develop psychosis symptoms. These can include paranoia, auditory or visual hallucinations, obsessive or compulsive activities, and tactile hallucinations known as “coke bugs,” or the perceived conclusion that bugs are crawling under the skin. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to days or weeks at a time.

If you suspect cocaine abuse by someone you care about, there are many subtle (and not so subtle) behavioral, cognitive and appearance-related changes that you should watch for.

Common behavioral changes include:

  • Restless or fidgety
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme happiness and energy
  • Overconfidence
  • Aggressiveness
  • Irritability
  • Poor judgment
  • Delusions
  • Emotional instability
  • Paranoia
  • Distrustful
  • Feelings of rage and/or hatred
  • Defensiveness
  • Fearful

Common changes in appearance include:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose and/or nosebleeds (snorting)
  • Track marks,needle marks and bruises on arms or legs (injecting)
  • Burned lips or fingers (smoking)
  • Jaw clenching
  • Profuse sweating
  • Tremors and muscle twitches

Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
It’s extremely difficult to stop abusing cocaine on your own. An addiction to cocaine impacts all aspects of your life, including your health, relationships, career and savings. At Providence Treatment, our state-licensed addiction treatment and behavioral health program offers individualized services that promote healing in your personal life, spirituality, family and career. To learn more, call today: (866) 247-3307.

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