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Signs of Cocaine Use

As with any drug, there are obvious signs of cocaine addiction and abuse. If a loved one has a sudden, severe change in behavior, routine, or friends it may be time to investigate the possibility of a drug addiction. Catching an addiction early will help with addiction treatment and recovery efforts to get your loved one free of the addiction and on a path for a healthy and productive future. Don’t ignore suspicion or signs of cocaine abuse, the longer the addiction continues the harder it is to detox and maintain addiction recovery. Learn more about the common signs of cocaine abuse below.

Common Signs of Cocaine Usage

  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Overly “chatty”
  • Over-sensitivity to light and sound
  • Muscle twitches and spasms
  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion and over-sleeping
  • Lack of appetite or intense hunger
  • Dramatic mood changes including:
    • Elevated self confidence
    • Euphoria
    • Depression
    • Paranoia
    • Suicidal tendencies

cocaine effects

Psychological Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Psychological signs of cocaine abuse can vary from person to person. Not everyone will react the same way and not everyone will have every symptom. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Irritabilityusers have often reported restlessness.
  • Depressiondepression and substance abuse often go hand in hand. It is usually difficult to tell if the cocaine use is what brought on the depression or if the user was treated their depression with cocaine use.
  • Change of friends and in family relationshipscocaine users often find a new group of friends that are accepting of their new found behavior or have a way to get them the drugs that they desire. It is sad but true that family relationship suffer. If family tried to help an addict it can push an addict away. However, if you have someone you love who shows signs of cocaine abuse you have got to try to get them to a rehabilitation center as fast as possible. There is help.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities as well as a loss in being with otherscocaine abusers will often stop being part of groups or teams and in some cases they stop wanting to be around other people.

Signs You Need Help For Cocaine Abuse

  • You deny you have a problem when someone questions you about your cocaine use.
  • You lie about your usage.
  • You have insomnia.
  • You have financial problems because of your need to buy cocaine.
  • You manipulate those around you so you can continue to use cocaine.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

cocaine withdrawal

Researchers in the 1980’s believed cocaine users did not experience true withdrawal symptoms. However, we now know that when cocaine use stops, symptoms are similar to a cocaine crash and can last months, even years, depending on the type of use, frequency, time spent using, and any pre-existing mental problems. The major symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Anhedonia – The lack of ability to feel pleasure
  • Anegia – The total lack of energy
  • Loss of motivation or initiative
  • Emotional depression
  • Nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Hunger
  • An INTENSE CRAVING for the drug

This intense craving generally causes the recovering compulsive user to relapse time and time again.

Cocaine Overdose

Most often an overdose is not fatal, it only feels like it. An overdose of cocaine can be caused by as little as 1/50 of a gram or as much as 1.2 grams. This is known as the “caine reaction”. Most users survive the overly sweaty, cold and clammy sensation accompanied with the feeling of impending death.

However, the direct and indirect effects of cocaine use, in fact, kill thousands. These deaths are the result from cardiac arrest, seizure, respiratory failure and an extra-high body temperature known as severe hyperthermia.

First time users along with chronic users can experience an exaggerated reaction far beyond what they might normally feel. This is because of the phenomenon known as

  • Inverse tolerance
  • Kindling

As people use cocaine they become more sensitive to the toxic effects rather than less sensitive and therefore can experience an overdose with less drug than they are use to using.


Uppers, Downers All Arounders, Darryl S Inaba ‘Executive officer Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, San Francisco CA.’, William E. Cohen, ‘Haight Ashbury Detox Clinic’

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