Cocaine Addiction: Common Behaviors to Look Out For

April 14, 2021

Cocaine addiction is often challenging for the average person to diagnose and determine because it is complex.

However, knowing the signs, symptoms, and common behaviors one exhibits can help you distinguish whether a loved one needs help.

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can cause adverse health consequences and long-term conditions. Not only that, but repeated cocaine use can also cause dramatic changes to the behavior and brain. Throughout the 1980s and ‘90s, cocaine use was typically reserved for “people of high social status.” Unfortunately, today, its use and addiction continue to destroy the lives of millions of users and their families all across the nation, regardless of their social standing. The CDC reports that close to 2% of the US population were cocaine users and the drug was involved in nearly 20% of overdose deaths in 2017. Recognizing common behaviors shown by a user can save a life by helping a loved one get the treatment they need.

Continue reading to learn more about a cocaine user’s behavior.

4 Common Behaviors of Cocaine Addiction

1. Changes to Mental and Emotional Health

With continued use of cocaine, it is not uncommon for users to experience mental health symptoms. Over time, conditions such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia can develop — even when they are not under the drug’s influence. Because of this, many cocaine addicts need dual treatment to overcome their addiction and mental health disorder.

Moreover, users can experience emotional health changes, such as uncharacteristic mood swings (irritability, excitably, emotionless, euphoria, hostility, social and chatty, etc.), lowered or loss of interest in things that once brought them joy, and displays of social isolation.

2. Financial Issues

Cocaine is an expensive habit, and people that use it consistently will often find themselves struggling financially. Moreover, the long-term effects of using the drug make it extremely challenging for a user to maintain employment for very long. Unfortunately, this combination often results in addicts stealing or committing fraud so they can pay for their addiction.

3. Changes Physically

When a person uses cocaine for an extended period of time and addiction develops, their life begins to change immensely. With the adverse side effects of cocaine, a user can expect to experience significant physical changes. Common physical changes include nose bleeds, runny nose, loss of smell, exhaustion, dilated pupils, and eating habit patterns. More serious long-term effects might include:

  • Damage to kidneys, liver, and lungs
  • Damage to brain, heart, and blood vessels
  • High blood pressure that could result in stroke, heart attack, and death
  • Severe weight loss and malnutrition
  • Tooth decay
  • Damage to tissues in the nasal passage
  • Inability to reproduce
  • Risk of infectious disease and abscesses

4. Displaying Withdrawal Symptoms

Without the drug, cocaine addicts will experience a crash and display withdrawal symptoms. Some symptoms include fatigue and insomnia, depression, agitation, mood swings, anxiety, and cravings to get high. Because withdrawal symptoms of cocaine use can be so intense and overwhelming, it is not advised for someone wanting to quit to do it alone—it is best to be under the watch of medical professionals.

Contact Steps Recovery Centers in Utah

If you suspect a loved one is suffering from a cocaine addiction and is exhibiting these behaviors, it is important to seek help right away, and the professionals at Steps Recovery Center can help. 

We are dedicated to taking a holistic approach to treating drug addiction, including cocaine, that includes treating the whole individual. The path to recovery is not a one-size-fits-all journey, which is why our skilled staff will customize and individualize a program that makes sense for you. The road to recovery should not be walked alone, and the knowledgeable, experienced, and sensitive team at Steps Recovery Centers are here to help all along the way. Contact us today to learn more. We have treatment centers in St. George, Salt Lake City, and Utah County in the great state of Utah.

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