Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can seriously affect the mind and body. Using cocaine can lead to stroke, seizures, addiction, psychosis, paranoia, overdose, and death. Certain signs and symptoms indicate use if you are worried that someone you know may be using cocaine. The good news is that recognizing these signs can help your loved one get the help they need.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use
Although it’s often portrayed as a party drug, cocaine is a potent and addictive substance. If someone you know is using cocaine, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cocaine use. While each person may experience different effects, some common signs may indicate a problem. For example, most people who use cocaine are more irritable, anxious, and paranoid than usual. Seven of the most common signs and symptoms of cocaine use include:
1. Decreased Appetite & Weight Loss.
When people use cocaine, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode. When this happens, the body burns through energy stores more quickly, causing weight loss. In addition, cocaine increases activity in the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure. These increases can lead to reduced appetite and weight loss. But it’s important to remember that this weight loss is temporary and can lead to long-term damage.
The most common damage caused by weight loss triggered by cocaine use is muscle wasting, which can lead to weakness and fatigue. In some cases, weight loss can also trigger a decrease in bone density, making bones more fragile and susceptible to fractures. In addition, weight loss can cause changes in skin tone and texture, as well as hair loss.
2. Paranoid and Restless Behavior.
One of the most common side effects of cocaine use is paranoid and restless behavior. This behavior happens because cocaine causes the body to release large amounts of adrenaline, which can lead to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. The heightened state of alertness caused by cocaine can also make it difficult to concentrate or focus on anything other than the drug. As a result, users may become paranoid and restless, feeling as though they are always on the lookout for danger.
Cocaine also temporarily increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward, but when dopamine levels become too elevated, it can lead to paranoia and restlessness. If a friend or a loved one constantly feels like someone is watching or out to get them, it could be a sign of cocaine use. Watch out for this kind of behavior.
The active ingredient in cocaine, base cocaine, is known to cause the blood vessels in the nose to constrict. This can lead to a decrease in blood flow and an increased risk of bleeding. In addition, cocaine shortens the time it takes for blood to clot, which can also contribute to nosebleeds. While nosebleeds are a common side effect of cocaine use, they can be minimized by using a small amount of the drug and avoiding sudden movements. If a friend or loved one experiences a nosebleed while using cocaine, sit still and apply pressure to their nostrils with your fingers. In most cases, the bleeding will stop within a few minutes. However, if the bleeding is severe or does not stop, seek medical attention immediately. Nosebleeds are often one of the first signs of cocaine addiction.
If left untreated, chronic nosebleeds can lead to anemia or a lack of red blood cells. This can cause fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Untreated chronic nosebleeds can also cause sleep deprivation and depression. In severe cases, they can even be fatal. Fortunately, with proper treatment, chronic nosebleeds can be brought under control, and the associated risks can be minimized. So if you or someone you love is suffering from chronic nosebleeds, don’t wait to seek help.
4. Dramatic Mood Swings.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that can cause intense mood swings. When someone uses cocaine, they may experience a sudden rush of energy and excitement. This is followed by a period of euphoria, during which they may feel invincible and alert. However, the effects of cocaine wear off quickly, leading to feelings of irritability, anxiety, and depression. As the person comes down from the high, they may also experience paranoia, aggression, and hallucinations. These extreme mood swings can be dangerous and lead to risky behaviors.
The mood swings caused by cocaine can last long after the drug has worn off. In fact, those who abuse cocaine often cycle through periods of mania and depression. This can make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships, hold down a job, or even take care of basic daily tasks.
5. Overconfident, Energetic Behavior.
Cocaine has been shown to increase confidence and overconfidence in users. While it’s true that the drug can boost confidence levels, there’s a downside to this as well. Overconfidence can lead to impulsive decisions, increase risk-taking behaviors, and ultimately result in negative consequences.
In one study, participants who used cocaine were more likely to take risks and make bolder decisions than those who didn’t use the drug. While this might sound like a good thing, it can actually lead to some negative consequences. For instance, people who are under the influence of cocaine may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as driving recklessly or engaging in unsafe sex. This overconfident behavior can lead to impulsive decisions people often regret.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that affects the brain in many ways. One of the most noticeable effects is an increase in talkative behavior. This happens because cocaine speeds up the communication between neurons in the brain, increasing energy. In addition, cocaine also reduces the level of inhibitions, which can make people more likely to talk about things that they normally wouldn’t.
Cocaine also speeds up the body’s production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward, and it plays a role in regulating movement and emotional responses. When cocaine enters the brain, it increases dopamine levels, leading to the feeling of being “high.” The increased level of dopamine also leads to hyperactivity and talkative behavior.
7. Drug paraphernalia.
There is a whole world of drug paraphernalia related to cocaine use, and each item serves a specific purpose. For example, blow pipes are used to inhale the drug, and razor blades are used to cut the cocaine into small lines. Some people even use straws shaped like keychains to snort the drug, making it easy to carry around and use anywhere. Noticing your friend or loved one with these items could be a sign that they are, in fact, using cocaine.
Evidence-Based Treatment You Can Trust
If you are worried that someone you know may be using cocaine, there are certain signs and symptoms to look out for. The good news is recognizing these signs can help you get your loved one the help they need. If you’re looking for an addiction recovery center that you can trust, contact us today. We have years of experience helping people overcome their addictions and reclaim their lives. You don’t have to fight this battle alone — we’re here to help.
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