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Cocaine Addiction Symptoms

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

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Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

Cocaine is a potent stimulant exerting a powerful pull on users but the symptoms of cocaine use can prove to be dangerous and even deadly in some cases. Its best to know which cocaine symptoms to keep an eye out for because some can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.

Taking cocaine regularly can trigger changes in the chemical structure of your brain, and addiction can very easily sneak up on you. That is why it is important to see a cocaine addiciton rehab center to curb addiction before it manifests itself into multiple aspects of your life.

Maybe you’re starting to question your own cocaine usage. Perhaps you suspect a loved one is dependent on the drug. Either way, familiarizing yourself with the common markers of addiction could help prevent a tragic outcome.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a white powder that’s usually snorted using a straw or rolled-up bill. The substance can also be injected or smoked.

The smokable form of cocaine is known as crack. This comes in yellowish, off-white rocks.

Whatever the method of delivery, cocaine delivers an intense but fleeting high. Once ingested, you’ll experience a brief  state of extreme euphoria. As this fades, you’ll crave more of the drug so you can recreate the powerful high. The effects diminish within 30 minutes or so. With crack, you’ll feel the effects almost instantly as the drug barrels into your bloodstream, and the high wears off even more rapidly than with powdered cocaine.

You experience a cocaine high as your brain becomes flooded with dopamine, a feel-good chemical neurotransmitter in the brain. Once the cocaine binge is over, your brain struggles to produce dopamine in regular quantities. It’s grown to rely on cocaine as the stimulus. This explains why many cocaine addicts seem to take maintenance doses of the drug simply to feel normal.

Before we move on to show you how to get help for cocaine addiction treatment, we’ll summarize the most common signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction.

Cocaine Addiction Symptoms

As with all drugs, the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction vary.

Nevertheless, you can keep your eyes peeled for the following common signifiers that cocaine use has descended into cocaine addiction.

  • Physical Symptoms of Cocaine
  • Psychological Symptoms of Cocaine
  • Behavioral Symptoms of Cocaine

Physical Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse

  • Restlessness
  • High energy levels
  • Diminished appetite
  • Pronounced weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Persistent nosebleeds
  • Runny nose
  • Increased body temperature
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive sweating
  • Blacking out
  • Tolerance to cocaine
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Breathing problems
  • Hypertension
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Heart attack

Psychological Symptoms of Cocaine Use

  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Impaired decision-making
  • Excessive confidence
  • Mood swings
  • Fleeting euphoria
  • Psychosis

Behavioral Symptoms of Cocaine Use

  • Engaging in reckless behaviors
  • Inability to curtail cocaine use
  • Dishonesty regarding activities
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Trying to borrow money
  • Stealing money
  • Excessive porn viewing
  • Engaging with escorts
  • Talking excessively
  • Disproportionate time spent on cocaine
  • Losing interest in hobbies or interests
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Socializing with new friends who use cocaine
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Using other drugs alongside cocaine
  • Continuing to use cocaine despite these negative outcomes

Treatment For Cocaine Abuse

Fortunately, getting effective cocaine addiction treatment is not as difficult or expensive as you might imagine. If you’re trying to give up cocaine, you normally won’t need a medically-assisted detox, and withdrawal is seldom life-threatening. Beyond this, cocaine withdrawal doesn’t bring about marked physical symptoms, although you can expect a range of psychological withdrawal symptoms.

That said, most people addicted to cocaine benefit from some form of addiction treatment, typically therapy or counseling, and possibly a 12-step program. Treatment can help you to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively while better resisting cravings and restricting your life so it’s substance-free.

Long-Term Effects of Untreated Cocaine Addiction

What happens if you allow a cocaine addiction to go untreated, then?

Well, you’re liable to experience an unpleasant laundry list of long-term consequences, including any or all of the following:

  • Financial problems
  • Legal issues
  • Breakdown of relationships
  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Social isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Heightened risk of co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Permanent brain damage

The days of cocaine being the preserve of the elite are history. According to data from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), more than 10% of rehab admissions are for the purposes of treating cocaine addiction.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that roughly 1.5 million Americans currently use cocaine. Of these, more than 900,000 exhibit the criteria for cocaine use or dependence as laid down in DSM-V.

Unfortunately, and as with most substance use disorders, many of these people don’t seek treatment. It’s impossible to get hard data here, so how about those who choose to engage in cocaine addiction treatment?

While cocaine addiction treatment can be highly effective, many cocaine users relapse. Around 25% of those who pursue treatment relapse during the first year.

The way in which the drug impacts the central nervous system as well as the brain means it’s devilishly addictive, even when you think you’ve consigned it to the rear-vision mirror.

Luckily, our cocaine rehab program in OC can help you set the powder or rock aside and reclaim your old life.

Symptoms of Cocaine Toxicity

Cocaine can result in overdose so what are the symptoms of cocaine toxicity?

Firstly, cocaine causes your heart rate to increase. This can lead to heart issues developing.

High blood pressure is also a common symptom of cocaine toxicity, and this can lead to further health complications.

The physical symptoms of cocaine overdose include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Raised heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Tremors
  • Chest pains

Some of the psychological symptoms of cocaine overdose include:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Delirium

Overcoming Cocaine Addiction with Renaissance

Here at Renaissance Recovery Center, we understand the challenges and roadblocks to expect when treating cocaine addiction. We are also adequately positioned to help you overcome these obstacles.

Unfortunately, there are currently no FDA-approved medications for treating cocaine addiction. Several medications are undergoing clinical trials to establish their efficacy along with any potential dangers. Of these, disulfiram shows the most promise. This is typically used for treating alcohol use disorder.

Instead, your therapist will help you deal with these head-on while resisting any cravings that could lead to relapse.

Crucially, you’ll also have the opportunity to address any co-occurring mental health disorders. Our dual diagnosis cocaine addiction treatment program delivers treatments for both issues simultaneously.

Invest in yourself and the best cocaine addiction treatment by calling the Renaissance admissions team today at 866.330.9449

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Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country