Cocaine is a powerful and highly addictive drug with a number of symptoms that can help you spot abuse. Because it’s so addictive, “habitual” users rarely exist; users’ lives become a search for the next high. Cocaine can be smoked, inhaled through the nose (snorted), or injected, and each of these has varying symptoms and signs. The effects of cocaine begin soon after use, and they disappear just as quickly, though method of use can change that.
The Warning Signs of Cocaine Abuse
Aside from the symptoms of cocaine itself, there are a number of warning signs that point to cocaine abuse. Those that smoke cocaine may have burns from the glass pipe, those that inhale it may have powder around their nose, and those that inject it will have track marks, like on their arms and feet.
The Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse
The array of symptoms from cocaine abuse are both physical and psychological, because the drug can actually “rewire” the dopamine pathways in the brain. As the brain adapts, the reward pathway is desensitized, so more cocaine is needed to achieve the same high. Tolerance is built up quickly in most individuals.
The Mental State of Cocaine Abuse
Psychological symptoms of cocaine abuse can vary from euphoric to paranoia, which makes it hard to predict how people will react.
These symptoms can include:
- Erratic behavior
The Physical State of Cocaine Abuse
There is a strong physical component to cocaine abuse, in both short-term and long-term use. It can effect each system of the body, including cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.
These symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Cardiac arrest
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
- Constricted blood vessels
Treatment for Cocaine Abuse
Sadly, due to cocaine’s powerfully addicting nature, an individual’s relapse risk is high, even with long-term abstinence and a support system. Because of cocaine’s ability to interrupt the dopamine pathways in the brain, the memories and exposure to triggers can induce cravings and relapse.
Help for Cocaine Abuse
Palmer Lake Recovery is a highly-rated recovery center specializing in complete care through multi-disciplinary programs, from medical specialists to nutritionists. They take the full health of the individual in mind, including co-occuring disorders like anxiety and depression.
Recovery isn’t just a “one and done” process, it’s a way of life. We have aftercare programs to help patients ease into their lives, gain footing in their community, and find housing and support groups.
Let us help you take the next step. We’ll be with you from admission to aftercare, giving you the personalized care you and your loved ones need to create a new stage in life.
“Cocaine (Powder).” Center for Substance Abuse Research. CESAR, 29 Oct 2013. Web. 20 Jan 2016. <http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/cocaine.asp>.
“Cocaine.” Medline Plus. National Institute of Health, N.D. Web. 22 Jan 2016. <https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cocaine.html>.