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How To Tell If My Friend Is Addicted to Cocaine

With the rising popularity of “cutting” drugs with more dangerous substances like fentanyl, cocaine use is more dangerous now than ever before. You may be wondering, “How can I tell if my friend is addicted to cocaine?” If you know what to look for, recognizing the signs of cocaine addiction can be the first step in helping a friend or loved one get the help they need. Consequently, getting familiar with the signs of cocaine addiction is a good idea.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a popular recreational drug that can have devastating effects on one’s mind, body, and overall life. Moreover, cocaine is highly addictive, with a very brief “high” that can put users in a cycle of addiction after only a small number of uses.

Originally derived from coca leaves grown in South America, cocaine has been a source of anguish for thousands of people and their loved ones. Cocaine was popularized in U.S. pop culture in the early 1980s. As a result, it has spread rapidly throughout North America.

Cocaine is primarily done by snorting it. While this will hollow out the nasal cavity of the user, outward physical signs of use are less apparent. Unlike other widely used drugs, the properties of cocaine often make signs of abuse less obvious than other drugs. Therefore, knowing how to spot the signs of cocaine addiction can mean the difference between saving a life and tragedy. For example, the signs of methamphetamine are unmistakable if you know what to look for.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use?

To answer how to tell if a friend is addicted to cocaine, one must first learn the signs and symptoms of cocaine use. While there are some physical signs of cocaine use, one will want to focus more on a person’s behaviors, mental state, and actions to best identify the signs.

Unlike other dangerous and highly addictive drugs, cocaine is often able to “fly under the radar” due to their physical signs and symptoms being less pronounced than a drug like heroin or methamphetamine. For instance, physical signs can include but are not limited to:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nose bleeds

In terms of psychological signs of cocaine use, the list is more extensive. With this in mind, the psychological and behavioral signs of cocaine use include but are not limited to:

  • Sudden bursts of energy or energetic personality traits
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Risky behaviors
  • Overconfidence
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Erratic behaviors
  • Mood swings

These signs and symptoms are especially likely to be linked to cocaine use if a person frequently exhibits traits from both the lists of physical and behavioral symptoms.

Dangers of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine poses many serious health risks to its users. In addition to it being highly addictive, cocaine has both short-term and long-term effects that can break down a user’s mind and body. From higher risk of HIV infection and respiratory illness to memory loss and shrinking brain size, the list of dangers is terrifying. Along with the aforementioned dangers, other dangers of cocaine use include but are not limited to:

  • Higher risk of Hepatitis B and C infection
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Mood disorders
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nose collapse
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

Withdrawal Symptoms of Cocaine Use 

While many of the signs of cocaine use can also be considered symptoms, users may experience specific symptoms of “comedown” from the drug. These withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Irritability
  • Cravings
  • Fever
  • Depression 
  • Suicidal Thoughts

These withdrawal symptoms range in intensity depending on the individual factors of the user. However, these symptoms subside after two to four weeks.

How to Find Help For Cocaine Addiction

Now that we’ve answered the question how to tell if a friend is addicted to cocaine, we can begin to explore options to help them recover from their cocaine dependency. In any event, going through withdrawals with a dedicated and appropriate support system always yields more successful results.

Attempting withdrawal alone is much more dangerous and far riskier to one’s health. As a result, the likelihood of relapse increases greatly in solo withdrawal. Above all, by finding a support system of medically qualified professionals, one can give themselves or their loved ones the best opportunity for a successful recovery from drug addiction.

Cocaine Treatment in Knoxville, Tennessee

Here at Tennessee Valley Recovery, we believe in empowering addiction treatment for lifelong change. Located in Knoxville, TN, we provide a tranquil and compassionate atmosphere conducive to healing. Our professional and dedicated staff are waiting with open arms to help you take the first steps in your individual recovery journey. At Tennessee Valley, we strongly believe that recovery is not a “one size fits all” process. Respect for your humanity and dignity are at the core of our belief in giving you a unique rehabilitation experience tailored to your own personal situation and needs. By generating multiple pathways to recovery, we give our clients the tools they need to reclaim their independence from drug and alcohol dependency. There has never been a better time to reclaim your freedom from addiction. Contact our admissions page today, and take the first steps in your personal recovery journey.