Cocaine is a Class A, illegal stimulant drug that is most commonly used recreationally in the party scene due to the euphoric high it creates. Not everyone who takes cocaine in their lifetime will fall into addiction, however, the chances of developing a problem with the substance are high and can take effect very quickly.
How is Cocaine Taken?
Cocaine comes in the form of a white powder and is usually snorted in lines or rubbed into the gums, however, it can also be injected, or ‘shot up’, into a vein by dissolving the powder with water for a more intense and faster acting high. Individuals that use cocaine frequently take it in binges, using the drug repeatedly over a short time period and increasing the dosage in order to maintain the high.
What are the Signs of Cocaine Use?
There are a number of signs and symptoms of cocaine use, though some people will display more than others depending on the amount and frequency of which they take the drug as well as the method used to consume it. If you or someone you know has been misusing cocaine, you may be able to spot some of the following signs:
Psychological Symptoms of Cocaine Use
- Brief state of euphoria
- Heightened sense of confidence
- Mood swings
- Poor decision making
- Exacerbation of any existing mental health problems
Behavioural and Social Symptoms of Cocaine Use
- Impulsive behaviour
- Engaging in reckless and risky behaviours such as driving under the influence
- Socialising with new groups of people who also take cocaine
- Lack of motivation
- Poor performance and/or attendance at work
Physical Symptoms of Cocaine Use
- Increased heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Elevated body temperature
- Excessive sweating
- High bursts of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Breathing problems
Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use
Chronic cocaine use can lead to a number of long-term negative effects, affecting both your physical and mental well being as well as other aspects of your life such as your school, work and relationships. Many of these long term effects are also symptoms of cocaine addiction and other drug addictions. They include:
- Liver damage.
- Kidney damage.
- Persistent nosebleeds
- Runny nose or ‘cocaine sniffles’
- Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Long-term cognitive impairment.
- Taking cocaine to try to relieve stress and tension- this often leads to cocaine addiction.
- Finding it hard to focus or concentrate at work or home.
- Intense cravings for cocaine.
- Being unable to reduce your cocaine use, despite the negative consequences it is starting to have on your life.
- Attempting to borrow or steal money to fuel the habit.
- Being secretive or dishonest about the extent of your cocaine misuse.
- Avoiding contact with family and friends, leading to isolation.
- Devoting lots of time to obtaining, using and recovering from the effects of cocaine.
- Losing interest in activities, hobbies or events that you once enjoyed.
- Neglecting responsibilities and relationships leading to family problems and relationship breakdowns.
- Academic failure or job loss.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Get Support for a Cocaine Addiction
If you are worried that either you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine abuse or addiction, please don’t hesitate to seek help and get in touch with our team at Acquiesce for a confidential consultation to discuss how we can help.