Symptoms of cocaine addiction
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that can be highly addictive due to the short but intense high that it creates.
There are a number of symptoms that are associated with cocaine addiction – these can vary from person to person and also depend on the amount and frequency of your cocaine use, as well as the method that you have been using to ingest cocaine (either snorting, injecting or smoking).
Fortunately, there is help & support available for individuals who are struggling with cocaine misuse. Our experts at Life Works are dedicated to helping you to tackle your symptoms, resolve the underlying issues that are contributing to your cocaine addiction, and ultimately help you to regain control of your life and leave your addiction in the past.
As well as taking cocaine on a frequent and ongoing basis, the following are all signs and symptoms that you may have developed a dependency on this dangerous substance.
Psychological symptoms of cocaine addiction:
- Brief state of euphoria
- Heightened confidence
- Poor decision-making abilities
- Mood swings
- Taking cocaine in an attempt to relieve stress and tension; this can often be the trigger for many people who go on to become addicted to cocaine use
- Finding it hard to focus or concentrate at work, home, or in any other areas of your life
- Intense cravings for cocaine
- Exacerbation of any existing mental health problems
Behavioural and social symptoms of cocaine addiction:
- Acting impulsively or with increased energy
- Engaging in reckless and risky behaviours e.g. driving when under the influence of cocaine
- Being unable to curtail your cocaine misuse, even though this has had a negative effect on your life
- Using other drugs alongside cocaine
- Attempting to borrow or steal money to pay for cocaine
- Being secretive or dishonest about your whereabouts, associates, activities and the extent of your cocaine misuse
- Avoiding contact with family and friends, leading to social isolation
- Finding that you only tend to socialise with other cocaine users
- Devoting an excessive amount of time to obtaining, using and recovering from the effects of cocaine
- Lack of motivation in all areas of your life and finding that you need cocaine to ‘pick you up’
- Losing interest in activities, hobbies or events that were once important to you
- Neglecting responsibilities and relationships
- Poor performance and/or attendance at work
Physical symptoms of cocaine addiction:
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated body temperature
- ‘Blacking out’ as a result of cocaine use
- High blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose
- Persistent nosebleeds
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Bursts of high energy
- Reduced need for sleep
- Breathing problems
Long-term effects of cocaine misuse
As well as causing a whole host of short-term physical, psychological and behavioural problems, chronic cocaine use can also have a range of long-term negative consequences, affecting all aspects of your life. These include:
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Increased risk for heart attacks and strokes
- Long-term cognitive impairment
- Family problems
- Relationship breakdowns
- Academic failure
- Chronic financial problems
- Job loss and unemployment
- Arrest and imprisonment
- Suicidal thoughts
Why it’s so important to get help for your cocaine addiction
At Life Works, we recognise that cocaine addiction is a mental illness that can destroy relationships, ruin careers and leave sufferers financially crippled. At its worst, cocaine addiction can even kill. People can die of heart problems or a stroke when cocaine significantly increases their blood pressure. They can be killed by the toxic reaction created when you mix cocaine and alcohol and people can even get deadly diseases like HIV and hepatitis from sharing ‘straws’ when snorting the drug, or needles when injecting cocaine.
That is why it is so important to get treatment as quickly as possible. Understanding and admitting that you have a problem with cocaine is the first big step toward recovery.
This page was reviewed by Steve Clarke, Hospital Director, (MSc, NCFED) in 2019 and is scheduled to be reviewed again in 2021.