Symptoms of Cocaine Use

At first, symptoms of cocaine use go unnoticed because they are subtle and hard to identify. As cocaine use escalates, the user's symptoms become more apparent and easier to detect. For occasional users, symptoms of cocaine use start as a nosebleed or increased heart rate. However, with continual use one may experience cardiac arrest and severe health problems. Cocaine abuse and addiction can lead to hospitalization and death.

Cocaine's effects appear almost immediately after a single dose and disappear within a few minutes or hours. Taken in small amounts (up to 100 mg), cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert, especially to the sensations of sight, sound, and touch. It can also temporarily decrease the need for food and sleep. Some users find that the drug helps them to perform simple physical and intellectual tasks more quickly.

The duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects depends upon the route of administration. The faster the drug is absorbed, the more intense the high. Also, the faster cocaine is absorbed the shorter the duration of the high. The high from snorting cocaine is relatively slow in onset, commonly lasting for 15 to 30 minutes. The high from smoking cocaine may last 5 to 10 minutes.

The symptoms of cocaine use affect every part of the user from the way they think to how they act and feel. Cocaine users will begin to focus more of their energy on acquiring and using cocaine until it becomes an all consuming obsession. Cocaine addiction can take hold of a user in less than 2 weeks. Some research indicates that a psychological dependency may develop after a single dose of high potency cocaine. As the person develops a tolerance to cocaine, higher and higher doses are needed to produce the same level of euphoria.

How can you tell if someone you care about is using cocaine? Here are the most common symptoms of cocaine use that you can look for:

  • A change in eating or sleeping patterns
  • A change in groups of friends
  • A change in school grades or behavior
  • A runny nose, frequently sniffing, or bloody nose
  • Acting withdrawn, depressed, tired, or careless about personal appearance
  • Altered motor skills (tremors, hyperactivity)
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Evidence of weight loss
  • Frequently needing money
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired judgment
  • Increased energy
  • Losing interest in school, family, or activities he or she used to enjoy
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Perspiration or chills
  • Rapid pulse and breathing
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Stereotyped, repetitive behavior
  • Talking rapidly
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.
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.
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.
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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