Cocaine Abuse: Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Cocaine Abuse: Effects, Signs & Symptoms
Cocaine is a stimulant drug, and misusing it is dangerous. There are many potential negative health effects of cocaine abuse but also the risk of becoming dependent on it and of overdosing, which can be fatal.1 If you or someone you know is abusing cocaine, you could be addicted. Cocaine addiction is serious and difficult to overcome. There is hope, though, in the form of professional addiction treatment. Reach out to get support for you or for your loved one before the consequences catch up to you.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine addiction, also known as cocaine use disorder, affects hundreds of thousands of people each year. According to recent statistics, 867,000 Americans struggled with cocaine use disorder in 2016.2 Regular and frequent use of cocaine may be a sign that someone you care about is struggling with this condition. Symptoms of being intoxicated from cocaine use include3:

  • Exaggerated self-confidence
  • High energy levels and euphoria
  • Increased alertness
  • Rambling, fast talking
  • Restlessness, aggression or other unusual behaviors
  • Confusion, paranoia, or sometimes delusions and hallucinations
  • Poor judgment and impulsive behaviors
  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia

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Help a Loved One with Cocaine abuse

Reach out to offer help if someone you know seems to be high a lot of the time. Other important signs of addiction include the repercussions of this regular use of the drug. You may notice these signs in yourself or someone else, and having just two or three of them can indicate a cocaine use disorder:

  • Your cocaine use feels out of control. You regularly use more than you planned to, and when you try to stop or cut back you can’t do it.
  • A significant amount of your time is taken up by getting high, recovering from the post-high crash or trying to get more cocaine.
  • You have started to crave cocaine.
  • Cocaine use is getting in the way of your responsibilities, at home, work or in other situations.
  • You are getting into more conflicts with people you care about because of your drug use.
  • You no longer have time for some or all of the activities you once used to enjoy.
  • Cocaine is causing physical health problems or exacerbating mental health conditions, but you keep using it anyway.
  • You have used cocaine in situations that were dangerous.
  • More cocaine to get the same high you used to get with smaller amounts.
  • You go through withdrawal when you try to stop using cocaine.

It is also important to watch out for signs of overdose. This can be fatal and should be treated as a medical emergency. Cocaine overdose causes high blood pressure, high body temperature, extreme agitation, difficulty breathing and hallucinations. It may also trigger a heart attack, seizure or stroke.1

Reach Out For Help

We provide holistic care and treatment using an individualized approach specifically tailored to your needs. Secondly, we help you lead a healthy, substance-free life with adaptive coping and problem-solving skills. Contact us today for more information on our certified staff of professionals, as well as our first-rate facilities.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Cocaine.
    https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
    https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2016/NSDUH-FFR1-2016.htm#sud4
  3. Mayo Clinic. Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder).
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/symptoms-causes/syc-20365112
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