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Signs of Cocaine Abuse

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Cocaine is one of the oldest and most addictive drugs used today. According to the United States National Library of Drug Abuse approximately 2.1 million people in the United States are addicted to the narcotic, and more than 25 million people have used it at least once in their lifetime. A person can become addicted and tolerant to cocaine after just a few uses. It is very common to miss the signs of cocaine abuse, and when overlooked can cause an individual to become more involved and end up spiraling out of control. If you suspect someone you care about is addicted to cocaine here are some symptoms you should look for.

Uses and Signs of Cocaine

An individual can use cocaine in various ways including: smoking, snorting the powder, or dissolving the drug and injecting it. The effects of the narcotic usually last about an hour or less and you may become aware of them disappearing for short periods of time and then returning in an extremely different mood. You may notice the rise in their energy level causing the user to be more talkative, excited, and acting more confident. Other signs that you should be attentive to are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Traces of white powder around the nose
  • Runny noses or nosebleeds
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Sleeplessness

Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

People who abuse cocaine may experience nosebleeds.

In time, the use of cocaine will not produce the same effect it once did. Once a user has built up a tolerance they will become determined to use more and more cocaine. You may notice them extremely energetic then becoming irritable and tired then sleeping for extended periods of time. This is known as “crashing”, a symptom from coming down off the high. Eventually you will begin to notice that their priorities for family, work, career, or health have changed. When large doses are used you may notice symptoms of:

  • Withdrawing from loved ones or friends
  • Financial and relationship troubles
  • Money lost or missing
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Disorientation

Noticeable Signs of Cocaine Abuse

You may notice telltale signs of cocaine use in the home. Cocaine is usually stored and delivered in small plastic baggies with zipper closures. Look for any signs of white powder. Some places they will hide the drug paraphernalia is beneath tables and chairs, under the bed, or in drawers. Depending on how they are administering the drug there will be some type of equipment being used. Some of the items to look for are:

  • Mirrors
  • Razor blades
  • Glass pipes
  • Plastic straws or rolled up dollar bills
  • Miniscule spoons

There are many methods of treating cocaine addiction. Individuals can help themselves by not using cocaine at all and taking time to rest and recuperate from their addiction. Physical withdraw from cocaine will only last a few days. However, the most effective treatments according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse are behavioral treatments with follow up therapy. Cognitive-behavioral treatments are tailored to the individuals needs and put emphasis on the reasons that lead them to their addiction and then making changes to these thoughts. The most important factor to a successful recovery for an addict is to recognize the signs of cocaine abuse and willing to get help.