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Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use

Do you think you see signs of drug use but you are not sure what drug is being used or how bad it is? If you suspect cocaine abuse by someone you care about, here are the signs of cocaine use you should watch for.

If a person is abusing powdered cocaine and they don't want you to know, he may disappear to use the drug and then return in a very different mood. He may seem excited and act more confident and exhibit a greater sense of well-being. She may be more excited sexually and talkative. His energy will be pumped up and he probably will not have very much appetite for food and will not have a normal sleep pattern.

Traces of white powder around a person's nose are also a sign of cocaine use. While many people snort the drug (and thus leaving the powder) some will dissolve and inject it. A few will ingest it, which can lead to severe intestinal damage.

Dilated pupilsand eyes that are overly sensitive to light are symptoms of cocaine use that you can watch for. Other symptoms of cocaine use include runny noses and after long use, nosebleeds and damage to the inside of the nose. A cocaine user may also dissolve and inject the drug, in which case you might find needle marks on arms, legs, hands, feet or neck and discarded syringes left around the place cocaine is consumed.

As powder cocaine's effects only last an hour or less, the user may leave periodically so he or she can use more of the drug.


Cocaine abuse signs infographic


Crack Cocaine Causes Many of Same Signs and Symptoms

Crack cocaine is smoked. You may find small glass pipes and tiny plastic bags left behind after a person smokes crack. A crack high is similar to a powder cocaine high but it does not last as long. A crack user may go off to use more of the drug after just ten or fifteen minutes. A crack user may have burns on lips and fingers as a sign of cocaine use, because of burns from the crack pipes.

When high doses are used or the drug is used in binges, symptoms of cocaine use often include disorientation, delusions, paranoia, antisocial behavior and aggressiveness. A person who has become addicted will be driven to use more of the drug and this will become his or her priority in life over family, career, work or health.





If a loved one is addicted, what's next?

Long-Term Signs of Cocaine Use

When a person has been using cocaine over a long time period, they are likely to suffer physical and mental deterioration. Symptoms of cocaine abuse over a long time period can include the drug abuser being depressed, agitated, nervous, tired but unable to sleep. They may be seriously distressed about life without a good reason. They will certainly have strong cravings for the drug. When use has gone on for a long period, signs of cocaine use will include a tolerance for the drug and that requires more of the drug to create a similar effect to earlier use.

If they try to discontinue use, they will experience intense cravings for the drug. They may experience a "crash" consisting of depressed moods, anxiety, irritability, apathy and long periods of sleep.

Recovery from Cocaine Addiction

The sooner a cocaine addict can be helped to leave this drug behind, the better. He or she will suffer less mental and physical damage and will no longer be at risk of being arrested or injured due to overdose or accident.

Conventional rehab programs do not have a way to reduce the sharp cravings for this drug that may plague a recovering addict. They may prescribe other drugs like benzodiazepines - addictive anti-anxiety drugs - if they make a clinical diagnosis of anxiety but in most cases, finding true recovery from addiction would relieve much of a recovering cocaine addict's stress and anxiety.

A Thorough Detoxification at Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Centers

The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program does have an effective way to address these cravings for cocaine. Early in one's rehabilitation at any one of more than 50 Narconon centers around the world, each person goes through the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program.

This three-to-five-month program utilizes a healthy, drugless detoxification program called the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. Using a low-heat sauna, moderate daily exercise and a strict regimen of nutritional supplements, one's body is able to eliminate stored drug residues. These toxic residues, lodged in fatty tissues, have been shown to be involved in the triggering of cravings, even years after drug use stops. This is a great relief to the recovering cocaine addict and enables him or her to overcome cravings and focus on learning how to build a drug-free life from the ground up.

Cocaine in Any Form is Very Hard on the Heart and Blood Vessels

As a strong stimulant, cocaine places severe stresses on a person's heart and vascular system. When cocaine is used, the heart speeds up and the blood vessels constrict. This combination of effects can trigger a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest.

Those who consume cocaine over a period of time risk enlarged hearts or damaged hearts that no longer pump blood efficiently. This is a very good reason to help a person recover from cocaine at a Narconon center, as soon as possible.


Resources:

  • http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/
    job185drugs/drugs_web.pdf





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