Cocaine is a powerful and addictive drug. It often goes by different “street names” like snow, flake, coke or blow. Cocaine tends to show some common signs if you’re concerned a friend or loved one might be using the drug. This includes short-term signs which show they are currently under the influence of cocaine, as well as long-term health conditions, behavioral and physical changes of someone using cocaine on a regular basis.
1. Short-Term Signs
Short-term signs of cocaine use are signs that indicate someone is currently under the influence of cocaine. This includes things such as having dilated pupils, stimulation, fast heart rate, being chatty and fast-paced, moments of extreme joy, high blood pressure and high body temperature. Typically someone using cocaine will have 20-30 minutes of this excitement and joy, followed by a depressed and fatigue feeling when it wears off.
2. Long-Term Signs
People who are using cocaine also show long-term signs, which typically occur with continued use of cocaine. Some of these long-term signs include becoming more depressed and agitated, nervousness, extreme mood swings, irritability, anxiety and periods of apathy, insomnia or long periods of sleeping.
3. Emotional & Psychological Signs
If you have been close to the person you are concerned about, you will most likely notice emotional and psychological differences. With cocaine users, these symptoms tend to be the same as other users of illicit drugs. This might include things like heightened mood swings and irritability, violent outbursts combined with moments of joy or excitement, and mental disorders which are heightened.
4. Behavioral Signs
The behavior, aside from mood swings and outbursts, is often different when someone starts taking cocaine. For example, a teenager using cocaine might start hanging out with a new group of people, become isolated or more social than normal, or stop going to school. Adults often forget about their responsibilities and lose interest in things they used to be passionate about.
5. Physical Signs
The last group of signs with cocaine users are physical, usually with the deterioration of physical appearance. Someone who starts using cocaine is probably going to forget about their appearance, show sudden weight loss, runny nose or sniffling, and bloodshot eyes. Skin may become more pale and when they are going through periods without the cocaine, they can become much different in appearance, due to sweating and chills, nausea, migraines and other physical problems due to the withdrawal symptoms. Someone who has withdrawal symptoms when they’re out of cocaine, is a sign they are currently abusing drugs.
If someone you know is showing any of these signs, it is likely they are using cocaine. Find a way to speak with them about what you have noticed and encourage them to seek help from a reputable drug rehab center in their area.