Author: John Carter

Signs of Cocaine Use How To Tell If Someone Uses Cocaine

cocaine addiction symptoms

It’s best to keep the conversation calm and focused on your support and on places that your loved one can go for help. Steering clear of accusations and arguments can help the conversation go in a more useful direction. Remember that people will only take steps toward recovery when they’re ready. You can’t force someone to face their addiction and quit if they’re unwilling. If that becomes too stressful, you can seek outside help, such as additional friends or family members, or the services of professional addiction services.

cocaine addiction symptoms

Approximately 5 percent of people who snort the drug will eventually develop a hole in their nasal septum, the wall of tissue that divides the two sides of the nose. NIDA also notes that a cocaine overdose can be intentional or unintentional, and can occur even on the first occasion of use, or at any time thereafter. It’s possible to die from an overdose of crack or any other type of cocaine.

Effects of Snorting Cocaine

In the early 1900s, cocaine was a common ingredient in herbal remedies for all sorts of illnesses. Surgeons used it to block pain before local anesthetics were available. Many cocaine addicts will also suffer depression when going through withdrawal. Mood changes are often the first clue that indicates cocaine addiction and are most noticeable by close friends and family. While some people experience few withdrawal effects from cocaine, others experience debilitating symptoms.

  1. If that becomes too stressful, you can seek outside help, such as additional friends or family members, or the services of professional addiction services.
  2. People may take the drug until they run out or become exhausted.
  3. However, finding treatment, whether it be rehab, therapy, or a 12-step program, can increase the chances of successfully quitting.
  4. Outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, medications, therapy, or a combination of different treatment programs can help you recover from addiction.
  5. Others wrap powder cocaine in a small piece of toilet paper or tissue and swallow it.

Convulsions, coma and death can occur within two to three minutes. It makes blood vessels in the nose constrict, cutting off oxygen flow to the nasal tissues. Other chemicals that dealers add to cocaine can also irritate the lining of the nose. Inhaling cocaine can lead to infections of the nasal and oral cavities. The drug can also cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure that can rupture blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) or tear the aorta (aortic dissection).

Signs of Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

Over time, additional emotional and cognitive functions also start to rely on the substance, making the addiction even stronger. If you believe a loved one is using cocaine, it’s best to talk with them about it in a way that focuses on support and care, without accusations or pressure. In early tests, a vaccine helped reduce the risk of relapse in people who use cocaine. The vaccine activates your immune system to create antibodies that attach to cocaine and stop it from making its way into your brain. But we need much more research into whether the  vaccine  is safe and effective over the long term.

You could have hallucinations, meaning you see or hear things that aren’t there. If you keep using cocaine, your brain’s circuits become more sensitive. This can lead to a negative mood when you don’t take the drug. Your brain may become less responsive to other natural rewards, such as food and relationships. Along with the physical risks, cocaine use can affect your life in other ways.

cocaine addiction symptoms

Withdrawal can be difficult, so it may be best to do it with the help of a medical professional. Cocaine, especially crack cocaine, is strongly addictive for several reasons. For one thing, the high feels very pleasurable, especially when you first try it. So you might keep taking the drug to prolong the good feelings and put off the unpleasant comedown. If you use cocaine regularly or to excess, you may have long-lasting and serious problems with your physical and mental health. It can affect your heart, brain, lungs, gut, and kidneys as well as your emotional health and daily life — especially if you become addicted.

Skin infections may also occur due to other infections that enter the bloodstream through nasal injuries caused by snorting cocaine. Recreational use of cocaine is illegal because it is dangerous and can lead to severe health consequences, including stroke, heart attack, and overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 24,000 people died from cocaine overdose in 2021. However, this high wears off within a matter of 1-2 hours, which can result in the user doing more cocaine in order to keep the high going and the negative effects at bay.

It’s essential to be aware of these signs, symptoms, and health effects of cocaine use to break the habit and get treatment if needed. Powdered cocaine is commonly snorted, which can irritate, inflame, and damage both the nasal cavity and throat. Frequent sniffing, sinus problems, allergies, reduced sense of smell, and recurring nosebleeds are just some common nasal problems that may indicate cocaine addiction. Nasal membrane irritation, nasal crusts, hoarseness, and difficulties with swallowing are other nasal problems triggered by cocaine addiction. Some chronic cocaine users may also go on to develop perforated septum and palate — holes in the nose and roof of the mouth caused by snorting cocaine.

Recognizing the Signs of Cocaine Use

People who smoke cocaine usually smoke a crystal form of the drug called crack, but some will smoke a mixture of powder cocaine and marijuana. More than half of people who smoke crack will develop a wheeze, cough or shortness of breath. Many crack users will also experience chest pain and cough up black mucus or blood. But it carries many risks, including overdose and serious physical and mental side effects as well as addiction. If you or someone you know has problems with cocaine use, seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine

That means you have to use more and more of the drug to get high. Research suggests that certain communities may be more prone to using drugs, including cocaine. For example, those who identify as LGBTQ are more than twice as likely to use illicit drugs as heterosexual people.

It can feel frustrating, frightening, and overwhelming to talk with someone about something as important as a cocaine issue. According to recent data, about 4.8 million Americans over the age of 12 use cocaine each year, and about half a million Americans over 12 have an addiction to cocaine. Many people start to build a tolerance after their first use of cocaine. A typical dose of snorted cocaine is between 30 and 70 milligrams.

Certain items and equipment are also red flags for cocaine use or cocaine addiction. Typical items used for snorting cocaine include mirrors, small spoons, short plastic straws and rolled-up paper tubes. A crack user will likely have a pipe and lighters, whereas IV cocaine users will possess needles. The symptoms usually appear within a day or two of smoking crack.

This makes you compulsively crave or use substances like cocaine. An in-depth look at the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction, how to get help for your loved one, and what treatment options are… Studies have linked cocaine addiction to problems with cognition — such as deficits in attention, working memory, and declarative memory. Working memory is the part of short-term memory involved with perceptual and linguistic processing, while declarative memory is the memory of facts and events. In addition to memory loss, cocaine addiction may also cause impairments in emotional empathy along with social cognition and decision making.