Cocaine Abuse Warning Signs
According to information from the United States government, about one million people try cocaine for the first time each year. About two million people in the U.S. are addicted to cocaine at any given time. Cocaine addiction can be devastating to the physical and psychological health of a person. In order to curb cocaine addiction, and get help for someone with a cocaine substance abuse problem, it is important to understand the signs of cocaine use.
Physical signs of cocaine use
Physical signs of cocaine use often have to do with physical appearance:
Change in eating habits. Many cocaine users dramatically reduce their caloric intake. You might notice someone losing rate rapidly. This is one of the signs of cocaine substance abuse.
Change in sleeping habits. Cocaine can cause changes in sleeping habits. A cocaine addict may "need" less sleep. Continuous periods of time spent awake - followed by "crashes" for hours at odd times - can indicate cocaine substance abuse.
Runny nose. Because cocaine is usually inhaled, it can cause problems in the nostrils. Many cocaine addicts have a constantly runny nose, or sniff constantly for no apparent reason. If someone has had a "cold" indefinitely, it could be a warning sign.
Bloodshot eyes. This is a classic sign of substance abuse, and it holds true for cocaine substance abuse as well.
General disregard for hygiene. A cocaine addict may stop taking proper care of him or herself. Showering, shaving and keeping one's appearance neat may begin to take backseat to the addiction. Cocaine substance abuse tends to lead users to stop caring about their clothes, cleanliness and general physical well-being.
Asking for money. Cocaine is expensive. Part of the reason that so many users are also dealers is because it costs a great deal to keep up the habit. Cocaine addicts may ask for money repeatedly in order to finance the habit. Also look for evidence that a loved one may be selling personal items of sentimental value. This can indicate a substance abuse problem.
Psychological signs of cocaine abuse
In addition to physical signs of cocaine substance abuse, there are also psychological signs:
Loss of interest in activities. Many cocaine addicts lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. They may give up a favorite sport, or stop engaging in a regular hobby.
Loss of interest in being with others. One of the main signs of substance abuse, including cocaine addiction, is a loss of interest in being around other people. Cocaine users may withdraw from family and friends. People that used to enjoy shopping or meeting for lunch may be continually "busy" or "not in the mood."
Change in friends. Is your loved one suddenly hanging out with different people? One of the signs of cocaine substance abuse is a sudden change in friends. What kinds of activities are the new friends engaged in? Is it mostly hanging around one place? Do the new friends show signs of substance abuse? Friends that are dramatically different from the normal run of a loved ones associates could be a strong indicator of cocaine use.
Depression. Substance abuse is often accompanied by signs of depression. A cocaine addiction may be the cause of depression - or it may be a way for a loved with depression to self medicate.
Signs of a cocaine overdose
Any drug overdose is a serious thing. Cocaine is a strong stimulant, and as such can cause serious problems in a person's body. Cocaine use mainly affects the heart, respiratory (breathing) system and the brain. These are all vital functions that can be impaired drastically by cocaine overdose. It is important to recognize the signs of a cocaine overdose so that you can get help for the victim as soon as possible. A cocaine overdose can result in death.
Here are some of the signs of cocaine overdose:
- High blood pressure.
- Rapid pulse.
- Rapid breathing.
- Increased temperature or high fever.
- Profuse sweating.
- Irritability and agitation.
A cocaine overdose can result in seizures, infection, liver and kidney failure, heart attack and stroke. It is very important to get immediate medical attention to a victim of cocaine overdose.
In order to prevent a cocaine overdose that could result in death, it is important to watch for the signs of cocaine use. If you can get help for someone with a cocaine substance abuse problem in the early stages of abuse, than it significantly lowers the chance of death due to overdose.