Addiction to cocaine is a growing problem in cities and towns throughout the U.S., but luckily cocaine addiction signs are evident in users. The consequences of cocaine use and abuse are numerous, and include both physical and mental changes that are visible to those around the user.
The physical signs of cocaine use are abundant and hard to hide once the user becomes an addict. The person’s eyes will frequently be bloodshot, and those around the user may notice his or her pupils dilated all the time. Another obvious physical problem from cocaine abuse comes in the form of nose bleeds, as the nasal passages are affected by the preferred method of ingesting the drug. The user will likely suffer from an inability to get to sleep or remain asleep, called insomnia, and will become increasingly irritable. Frequent and sometimes dramatic mood swings are also common in addicts, in addition to panic attacks. The user will notice, but likely not report, a rapid or irregular heartbeat. An increased heart rate can also lead to higher blood pressure and permanent risks and problems associated with that condition.
Withdrawal symptoms also become common in addicts when they are unable to get their hands on cocaine for a longer period of time. Many addicts in denial about their addictions will turn away from drugs for a time, and will find they are unable to do without the drug after only a short period. During the times when the drug is absent, the user will feel physically ill. He or she will suffer from tremors, feel nauseated and frequently have “cold chills” evidenced by bumps up and down their arms and legs.
In addition to physical and mental changes, the cocaine user will begin to experience problems in everyday life. He or she may begin to have problems with performance at work, will be unable to get to work on time or may even lose their job due to use of the drug. The stress of the drug use and problems it causes will have an effect on the user’s personal life in the form of issues with family members. For a serious drug addict, cocaine will become the full focus and center of life, to the point where obligations at work and with friends and family are often ignored. As the focus shifts more toward getting high and away from everyday life, a drug user’s family and friends should notice the person withdrawing more and more. Interests will begin to fall by the wayside as they shift from activities to drugs.
Money also becomes a problem as the user must buy increasing amounts of cocaine in order to get high, and problems with debt only compound if or when the user loses employment. For many, personal problems also occur as the drug addiction becomes more central to life than relationships maintained with friends and family. A final and glaringly evident symptom of cocaine abuse is the sudden appearance of legal problems. Legal issues also frequently develop for users as they begin to become more tied up and preoccupied with the drug. An addict who frequently uses cocaine will drive under the influence of the drug, and may eventually have legal consequences as a result of those actions.
These are a few of the possible symptoms of cocaine abuse. Anyone who notices such symptoms in a friend or loved one should do additional research and investigate the matter fully. It is never too late to help, and resources are available to help those addicted to cocaine as well as other legal and illegal drugs.