Posted on January 15, 2017 in Addiction

Red Flags That Your Loved One Has a Cocaine Problem

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug of abuse that comes in both a powdered form and a hardened, rock-like form known almost universally by the street name “crack.” Figures on the cocaine addiction rate show that close to 1 million Americans have diagnosable problems related to the consumption of this drug. If think your loved one may have a cocaine problem, you can look for a number of red flags that serve as clear warning signs.

Signs of Active Use

People actively using cocaine can develop a range of physical, mental/emotional and behavioral changes that help tip you off to the presence of a serious problem. Potential physical indicators include:

  • A perpetually runny nose
  • Recurring, unexplained nosebleeds
  • The presence of injection marks (i.e. “track marks”) on the arms or other parts of the body
  • Unexplained increases in normal body temperature
  • Unusually rapid body movements
  • Muscle tremors or jitters

The list of mental/emotional and behavioral red flags may include:

  • Unusual restlessness or nervousness
  • Unexplained transitioning from an unusually upbeat mood to an unusually down mood
  • Unexplained bouts of paranoia toward others
  • An unexplained increase in the frequency of nightmares
  • The presence of a strong urge to take more cocaine
  • Unusually rapid talking
  • An unexplained drop in appetite
  • A steeply diminished need for sleep
  • An inability to control the frequency of cocaine use or the amount of the drug consumed

Signs of Withdrawal

The annual cocaine addiction rate means that hundreds of thousands of users will develop symptoms of withdrawal if they try to stop using the drug or sharply lower their intake. Signs of withdrawal to look for in an addicted cocaine user include:

  • An unexplained lack of energy
  • A reduced rate of body movement
  • An unusually restless or agitated mental state
  • A depressed mental state
  • A general sense of malaise or unease
  • An unexplained increase in appetite
  • Exceptionally graphic or vivid nightmares

A person going through cocaine withdrawal will also frequently experience an intense urge to start using the drug again as soon as possible.

 

Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Signs of Cocaine Use and Addiction https://easyread.drugabuse.gov/content/signs-cocaine-use-and-addiction

U.S. National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus: Cocaine Withdrawal https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000947.htm

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Cocaine – What Is the Scope of Cocaine Use in the United States?                                                                             https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-scope-cocaine-use-in-united-states

 

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