Cocaine Addiction Symptoms

How can you tell if someone you care about is using cocaine? Sometimes it's tough to tell. But there are symptoms you can look for. The symptoms of cocaine use can be baffling. At first they may go unnoticed because they are so subtle. As the symptoms of cocaine use grow larger so does the individuals addiction to cocaine. Cocaine symptoms may start off as simple as a normal nosebleed and can become as extreme as cardiac arrest.

The effects of cocaine are immediate, extremely pleasurable, and brief. Cocaine and crack cocaine both produce intense but short-lived euphoria and can make users feel more energetic. Like caffeine, cocaine produces wakefulness and reduces hunger. Psychological effects include feelings of well-being and a grandiose sense of power and ability mixed with anxiety and restlessness. As the drug wears off, these temporary sensations of mastery are replaced by an intense depression, and the drug abuser will then "crash", becoming lethargic and typically sleeping for several days.

Cocaine addiction can occur very quickly and be very difficult to break. Animal studies have shown that animals will work very hard (press a bar over 10,000 times) for a single injection of cocaine, choose cocaine over food and water, and take cocaine even when this behavior is punished. Animals must have their access to cocaine limited in order not to take toxic or even lethal doses. People addicted to cocaine behave similarly. They will go to great lengths to get cocaine and continue to take it even when it hurts their school or job performance and their relationships with loved ones.

If someone you care about has one or more of the following symptoms of cocaine use, he or she may be using cocaine or other illicit drugs:

  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • A runny nose, frequently sniffing, or bloody nose
  • A change in eating or sleeping patterns
  • A change in groups of friends
  • A change in school grades or behavior
  • Acting withdrawn, depressed, tired, or careless about personal appearance
  • Losing interest in school, family, or activities he or she used to enjoy
  • Frequently needing money
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Increased energy
  • Talking rapidly
  • Rapid pulse and respiration
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hallucinations
  • Altered motor activities (tremors, hyperactivity)
  • Stereotyped, repetitive behavior
  • Anger
  • Impaired judgment
  • Perspiration or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Evidence of weight loss
Your Brain On Cocaine
(AP) Chronic cocaine use harms brain circuits that help produce the sense of pleasure, which may help explain why cocaine addicts have a higher rate of depression, a study suggests. It's not clear whether cocaine kills brain cells or merely impairs them, or whether the effect is reversible, said study author Dr. Karley Little. But it's bad news for cocaine addicts in any case, he said.
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Former cocaine kingpin now serves dogs, not drugs
MARKHAM, Ill. — Two decades after customers clamored to buy cocaine from a teenager named John Cappas, they're lined up again to buy what he has to sell: Hot dogs. The one-time "drug kingpin," as the newspapers called him in the late 1980s, this summer became an owner of a hot dog stand called Johnny's WeeNee Wagon.
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Drug mule swallowed 106 cocaine packages
A man who swallowed 106 packages of cocaine to smuggle them into the UK was today starting a 10-year jail sentence. Alexsejs Malinovs, 23, from Eastern Avenue South, Northampton, was stopped by UK Border Agency officers at Heathrow Airport in May 2009 when he arrived on a flight from Peru via Amsterdam. Investigations found the Latvian national had swallowed about 700 grams of cocaine in 106 packages, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said today.
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Tainted cocaine
Okay, let's just get it right out there up front - no one thinks doing crack or cocaine is good for you. Nope, no one. Not me, not even the people who use it. However, if a huge percentage of the cocaine/crack sold in this country is being adulterated with a potentially lethal addition, shouldn't people (including the doctors wondering what the heck is going on) be warned?
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