Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that is highly addictive. People who abuse cocaine run the risk of developing a number of short- and long-term health problems in addition to the risk of overdose and death. Even if one does not overdose from cocaine use, it can have a profoundly negative impact on their life on a personal and professional level. If you suspect that a friend or loved one is using cocaine, you will naturally want to encourage and support them in getting help. Before you can do that, you must be able to identify the signs of cocaine addiction.
Cocaine is a fine, white powder that people consume either by snorting or by injection. People also use cocaine that comes in chips or chunks. This is called crack cocaine, and one takes it into their system by inhaling the fumes via a lit pipe. When looking for cocaine abuse signs, the method of its use can provide evidence in the form of paraphernalia. In areas where a person suspected of snorting cocaine spends a good deal of time, look for mirrors, CD cases, and straight razors with powder or residue on them. Spoons or rolled-up dollars may also be present, as they are often used for snorting the drug up one’s nose. People who inject cocaine may have needles and needle caps present, while one might find a pipe among the belongings of individuals who smoke crack. Small, zippered plastic bags with residue in them will also likely be among a user’s belongings.
When determining if a friend has a problem with cocaine abuse, signs of a mental and behavioral nature may be the most disturbing, as a person’s personality and mental state can change after prolonged use. A person may have extreme mood swings that unexpectedly go from cordial to hostile. Someone who frequently disappears in one mood only to return in a completely different one may also be using cocaine. Depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and paranoia can also be signs of cocaine addiction. An individual who is abusing cocaine also may show apathy toward things that were formerly important, such as family, career, or education.
Physical signs of cocaine abuse may include needle track marks, most frequently on the arms, though they may also appear on one’s legs, neck, and hands. When a person has a cocaine addiction, symptoms associated with snorting the drug include nosebleeds, a loss of one’s sense of smell, sniffles, and a runny nose. If a person has just used the drug, there may be visible evidence in the form of white powder on or around their nose. Smoking cocaine can leave burn marks on fingers and lips. Red, bloodshot eyes are also common in people with a cocaine addiction. Symptoms also include dilated pupils and sensitivity to light.
Recognizing the signs of cocaine abuse or addiction is a good first step in helping a friend get the help that they need. The journey toward successful addiction recovery is one that requires the professional assistance of highly trained doctors, counselors, and therapists. True Recovery offers an intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) for people interested in individualized rehabilitation, including those who may have slipped in their recovery. Our extended-care programs and structured sober living homes offer a private, comfortable, and safe environment for our clients to gain the coping skills necessary to live without the influence of cocaine. We’ll help you discover your life’s passions and provide guidance through group or individual addiction counseling.
True Recovery accepts most private insurance plans, and we provide an easy-to-complete insurance verification form for your convenience. You may also speak with an admissions counselor by phone any time. Call today to take the first step toward a cocaine-free future.