Cocaine Addiction: Signs and Symptoms

Cocaine is an extremely addictive substance that can take control of someone’s life. Read on to learn more. 

How to Identify a Cocaine Addiction

When it comes to addictive substances, cocaine addiction signs is notoriously dangerous. It tends to create a hold on those who use it, and some individuals have reported feeling addicted in as little as one use. Unfortunately, cocaine is a popular substance, and many people struggle with its use. Keep reading to learn how to identify cocaine addiction signs and symptoms seen in individuals struggling with addiction.

Cocaine addiction presents several different symptoms, depending on the individual struggling with the disorder. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, there are some questions you can ask to determine if you or someone close to you is struggling with cocaine addiction. Ask the following: 

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Am I Having Cocaine Cravings?

Craving the substance is one of the first cocaine addiction signs that you may be suffering from a substance abuse disorder. With cocaine abuse, these cravings tend to be intense. 

Am I Suffering From Restlessness?

One of the tell-tale symptoms of cocaine addiction signs comes in the form of restlessness. Many restless nights for an individual who otherwise sleeps soundly may indicate that they are struggling with addiction

Why Can’t I Stop Using Cocaine?

An inability to stop using cocaine indicates an issue with cocaine abuse. The desire to do it may appear, or it may come as an impulse when access to the substance is available.

Has My Quality Of Life Changed?

Studies have shown that cocaine abuse and a negative impact on quality of life are related. If you have noticed that your quality of life is deteriorating alongside cocaine use, there may be an issue with addiction present.

Am I More Anxious Than Usual?

Anxiety is a symptom that presents itself at all stages of cocaine abuse. Individuals suffering from cocaine addiction may feel nervous, anxious, or paranoid at times.

If these questions are starting to correlate with the way your life is lived, there may be an issue with cocaine abuse present. 

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

cocaine addiction signs

The effects of cocaine are almost instantaneous and last anywhere from a few minutes up to an hour. With such a potent substance, it is understandable that the short-term effects of cocaine abuse would populate quickly, as well. 

Behavioral Issues

Some of the most noticeable effects tend to deal with their behavior. Some individuals are sent into a panic when they are coming down from cocaine, or even while they are feeling the effects of the stimulant. Other forms of abnormal behavior present as well, like restlessness, paranoia, anxiety, and irritability. In some cases, violent behavior becomes apparent, as well. 

Physical Issues

An individual under the influence of cocaine may affect breathing. Cocaine can cause cell death, as well as vascular issues that can cause lungs to rupture, making breathing ragged and labored. Another physical effect may be irritated skin. Users tend to feel crawling under the skin and will do what they can to relieve the issue, causing noticeable skin trauma.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

Psychological Effects

The ongoing abuse of cocaine can cause several different long-term effects. The majority of these effects are psychological, due to the neurological damage that cocaine has on an individual.

Long-term effects from cocaine abuse may include fatigue, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. In some cases, delayed thinking becomes an apparent problem, and someone who is abusing this substance may seem sluggish. Additionally, seizures tend to present, causing both neurological and physical damage. 

Physiological Effects

Furthermore, people who suffer from cocaine abuse can demonstrate a range of physiological issues. Cardiovascular issues become rampant, leading to hypertension and heart failure. Nasal cavities and sinuses incur great amounts of damage from snorting cocaine, causing them to collapse. The respiratory system also faces drastic consequences, and it becomes more susceptible to infection and failure.

While cocaine can take a significant toll on one’s body, it is still possible to overcome this addiction.  

How Does Cocaine Abuse Affect Mental Health?

cocaine addiction signs

Mental health may be the form of health most affected by prolonged cocaine abuse. The central nervous system is damaged, leading to several issues for people suffering from cocaine addiction. Of these issues, a lack of energy seems to be the baseline. When the use of the substance ceases, individuals who suffer from addiction may lack the energy to do anything.

Other people have reported having various issues with mood swings, as well as with finding pleasure. Addiction leads to issues with the body’s reward system. Substance abuse can rewire the brain’s reward system, meaning that it only feels rewarded with the use of the addictive substance. This dependence creates what is known as an antireward system, which permanently alters the brain chemistry of the individual.

How Long Does Cocaine Psychosis Last?

One of the most prominent health risks associated with cocaine is cocaine psychosis, which is a form of psychosis that is caused by cocaine usage. It may not present in early uses of the substance, but as time goes on the likelihood of it happening does increase.4

There are three stages of cocaine psychosis, all of which are listed below:

  • Prodrome: Early stages, where early symptoms like irrational thoughts appear.
  • Acute: The full psychosis, leading to hallucinations and paranoia.
  • Recovery: The lessening of the symptoms of cocaine psychosis.

The foremost thoughts on cocaine psychosis indicate that it’s caused by continually worsening hormone imbalances in the brain. It is the reason that it gets worse as cocaine abuse persists. 

How to Find Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from cocaine addiction, seeking treatment is the most important aspect in saving a life. These are the various stages of treatment for cocaine addiction:

  • Seeking professional help
  • Undergoing integrated treatment
  • Post-treatment counseling
  • Support groups
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Relapse prevention

There is no shame in seeking assistance with a substance abuse disorder. If you are suffering from cocaine addiction, reach out. Our team at Stillwater Behavioral Health is here to help you alleviate your suffering and get you on the road to recovery.