8 Ways To Tell If Someone Is On Cocaine
After a brief lull, cocaine use has steadily increased since 2010. Between 2011 and 2016, deaths from cocaine overdoses rose at least 18% each year. Cocaine accounted for the second- or third-most overdose death caused by drugs, too. In almost 75% of those deaths, other drugs like fentanyl were found in their system at the time of death.
With drug overdoses breaking records with over 70,000 deaths last year, getting help for drug addiction is a matter of life and death more than ever. Using cocaine has become more dangerous since the introduction of fentanyl-laced cocaine, which is a lethal combination of stimulants and opioids.
This article will detail many of the signs to watch for if you think a loved one is abusing cocaine. Cocaine can be used by injecting, smoking, or sniffing. Crack cocaine, which is practically the same as regular cocaine, is usually smoked with a crack pipe. If you are considering treatment for cocaine addiction for yourself or someone else, call Boardwalk Recovery Center today to talk with one of our addiction experts and explain the process of treatment and therapy.
Signs of Cocaine Use
- Nose Bleeds: Sniffing cocaine is the most common form of cocaine use. The drug enters the bloodstream exceptionally quickly. The cocaine high is produced almost immediately. Cocaine damages the capillaries in the nasal canal, increasing the likelihood of nosebleeds. There are many reasons someone may experience more frequent nosebleeds other than using cocaine, but a sudden increase of nosebleeds combined with the following signs suggests cocaine use.
- Change in Sleep Patterns: Cocaine is a stimulant. Many people use cocaine because of the euphoric high and the increase in energy. Someone on cocaine will stay up until the sunrise or even for days at a time. Then, the crash comes. He or she will sleep during the day or not get out of bed for more than 24 hours.
- Loss of Appetite: Cocaine use suppresses a person’s appetite. Often, someone who is using cocaine often will experience weight-loss. Cocaine’s effects on body weight are also tied to its role in suppressing the body’s ability to store fat. Quitting cocaine is always difficult, but it can be harder for those who have gotten used to being thin because of the drug. Experiencing weight gain without therapy during times of weight gain can lead to relapse.
- Erratic Behavior: People with a substance use disorder from cocaine may appear “twitchy” or shaky. As the drug increase someone’s heart rate and blood pressure, his or her hands may shake. Additionally, cocaine compromises the user’s ability to make sound judgment. Risky behavior, disappearing for long periods of time, and emotional outbursts are typical in people who abuse cocaine.
- Extreme Mood Swings: Because cocaine keeps people awake, the lack of sleep from the drug is enough to have an adverse effect on someone’s mood. According to Harvard Medical, inadequate or poor sleep causes irritability and stress. If someone has chronic insomnia, a side effect of sustained cocaine use, the risk of developing mood disorders such as anxiety and depression increase. The hangover, or “come down,” from cocaine is extreme. While on high, the user will be extraordinarily talkative and feel euphoric, but after the drug wears off, he or she will be prone to anger, depression, anxiety, and irritability.
- Visits to Bathrooms in Bars: It is well-known that while drinking alcohol, people use the bathroom more frequently than when not drinking. But someone who is using cocaine will frequently disappear during social gatherings. The cocaine high is very short-lived, with the high wearing off after about 15 minutes. Because the high feels so good, someone using cocaine will continue finding ways to use it. Groups entering bathrooms can also be an indicator of drug use in bar or club restrooms.
- Dilated Pupils: Unnaturally large pupils is a symptom of cocaine use. Dilated pupils from cocaine use, though, only remain enlarged while the person is high. The pupils will return to normal size after about fifteen to thirty minutes after the last use. Sometimes, people on cocaine try to hide these symptoms by wearing sunglasses inside or while its dark outside. Dilated pupils in places where it is very dark are natural, but dilated pupils when its sunny or well-lit is a warning sign.
- Track Marks: Scars or signs of intravenous drug use on people’s arms are obvious signs of illicit drug use. People who inject cocaine, meth, heroin, or any combination will develop marks from repeated injections on their forearms. If you notice this on a loved one, it is a sign that someone’s addiction have become increasingly dangerous.
If you suspect someone has developed an addiction to cocaine, there is hope. Boardwalk Recovery specializes in the treatment of cocaine addiction. Our intensive outpatient program features addiction specialists, clinicians, and caseworkers who are compassionate and determined to help you or a loved one live a purposeful and happy life without drugs.