Cocaine abuse signs and symptoms
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that is widely abused for recreational purposes throughout the UK and across the world. As well as the wide range of cocaine addiction symptoms that are associated with this drug, users also experience feelings of euphoria, increased energy, enhanced self-confidence, and numbness to pain following cocaine consumption.
The effects of cocaine are typically both intense and brief; a combination that often prompts individuals to abuse the drug over and over again within a short period of time. This can cause the development of a dangerous cocaine addiction, as well as a whole host of negative consequences that can have a hugely detrimental impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction, so that this serious condition can be addressed and overcome.
The intensive cocaine addiction treatment programme that we offer at Manor Clinic, empowers individuals to tackle the symptoms that are associated with this condition, overcome their cocaine addiction and develop the skills and coping mechanisms to lead a healthy drug-free life.
What are the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction?
The signs and symptoms of cocaine abuse and addiction can vary from person to person and also depend on a number of different factors including how much cocaine each individual is taking and how frequently. However, the following are among the more common physical, psychological and behavioural/social symptoms that may suggest that a person has developed a problem with cocaine addiction.
How to spot the Physical symptoms of a coke addict:
- High energy
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose and persistent nosebleeds
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Excessive sweating
- Diminished appetite and resulting weight loss
- ‘Blacking out’ as a result of taking cocaine
- Developing a tolerance to cocaine, meaning that you need to take increasingly higher quantities of the drug, and more frequently, in order to experience the desired ‘high’
Psychological symptoms of cocaine addiction:
- Brief state of euphoria
- Excessive confidence
- Impaired ability to focus or concentrate
- Impaired decision-making abilities
- Mood swings
- Exacerbation of any existing mental health conditions
- Taking cocaine in an attempt to relieve stress or tension
Behavioural/social symptoms of cocaine abuse:
- Acting with increased energy, impulsivity or urgency
- Engaging in reckless, risky and dangerous behaviours when under the influence of cocaine
- Talking excessively
- Continuing to use cocaine even after experiencing negative outcomes as a result of this
- Spending increasing amounts of time acquiring, using, or attempting to recover from the effects of taking cocaine
- Finding that you only tend to socialise with other cocaine or drug users
- Withdrawing from family and friends, leading to social isolation
- Neglecting relationships and responsibilities
- Poor attendance and performance at work
- Lying and being secretive about your cocaine use or whereabouts
- Losing interest in activities and hobbies that were once important to you
- Using other drugs alongside cocaine
What are the long-term effects of cocaine addiction?
If cocaine addiction remains untreated, it can result in a whole host of devastating long-term consequences, including:
- Heart failure
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Permanent brain damage
- Interpersonal relationship breakdowns
- Job loss and unemployment
- Financial problems
- Legal problems, including arrest and imprisonment
- Increased risk of co-occurring mental health disorders
- Social isolation
- Suicidal thoughts
What are the effects of cocaine withdrawal?
Prolonged cocaine abuse typically results in an individual becoming both physically and psychologically dependent on this substance in order to function effectively. Therefore, a sudden absence of cocaine within an individual’s system, or a significant reduction in use, can trigger a variety of unpleasant and distressing cocaine withdrawal symptoms. These may include:
- Powerful cravings for cocaine
- Agitation and irritability
- Vivid nightmares
At Manor Clinic, our comprehensive medically assisted withdrawal detoxification programme allows our patients to undergo the systematic removal of all traces of harmful substances from their bodies, whilst receiving 24-hour medical assistance, monitoring and care in order to manage their withdrawal symptoms.
What are the effects of cocaine overdose?
Ingesting too much cocaine, which is known as cocaine overdose, can be a dangerous and potentially lethal experience. The following are all common signs that an individual has overdosed on cocaine, and requires urgent medical attention:
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Rapid heartbeat
- Elevated blood pressure
- Breathing problems
- Kidney failure
This page was reviewed by Sarina Wheatman (FDAP) in October 2019 and is scheduled to be reviewed again in October 2021.