A Guide To Cocaine: Dangers, Signs, & Symptoms

Cocaine has long been associated with the rich and famous, but in reality, that’s just a fairy tale. Many people from all walks of life find themselves lured into the world of drug abuse only to find that the fantasy is a long way from the reality where cocaine abuse is concerned. The addiction soon sets in and lives are destroyed.  Let’s look at the reality of cocaine abuse.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a central nervous stimulant. It raises your heart rate and gives you energy. Normally, this white powder is ingested by sniffing it into the nose, but it can also be injected or smoked. It produces a high that can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on how it is taken and how large the dose is. Over time, cocaine changes the structure of the user’s brain, causing addiction. The high from this drug is produced because it blocks the absorption of dopamine, allowing the “feel good”  neurotransmitter to stay active in the brain longer.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the more common signs that a person is using cocaine include:

  • Increase in the amount of talkativeness and the rate of speech
  • Flushed skin that may contain sweating
  • Paranoia or delusions may be present or hallucinations. Often the symptoms resemble schizophrenia.
  • Weight loss can be extreme because cocaine reduces appetite. The individual will also experience a great deal of movement in the form of constant jitters and an inability to sit still. The increased activity combined with low appetite makes weight loss quick.
  • Increased risk-taking is noticed. The drug reduces inhibitions and the user may feel invincible. This can include taking part in frequent risky sexual behaviors.
  • Redness under the nose and frequent runny or bloody nose. This comes from the cocaine burning the skin around the nose and doing damage to the lining of the nasal passages.
  • Needle marks if the user injects the drug
  • When higher doses are used, the person may exhibit anger, strike out violently, or throw frequent tantrums that result in throwing and breaking things. 

In addition to the above signs, the person will exhibit signs associated with most addictions. These include a seemingly never-ending need for money, secrecy, neglect of body appearance, and a change in both behavior and personality. You may find the person stealing and lying to gain access to money for the drug. Often a person won’t admit how frequently they use cocaine and may try to hide the fact entirely, resulting in more lies and secrecy.

Dangers of Using Cocaine

One of the biggest dangers related to cocaine abuse is that a user’s blood pressure rises extremely high. This happens because the blood vessels constrict and the heart needs to work harder in order to get the blood through. Long-time use also destroys the lining of the nasal passage. A person loses sleep which doesn’t allow for the body to heal. This means that other body organs eventually show signs of damage. If too much cocaine gets into the system, a person can experience extreme rises in blood pressure, seizure, stroke, and even death.

Let Us Help You Find Treatment

Getting help for addiction can be confusing. There are so many choices available, insurance coverage varies, and even things like transportation issues can all factor into things. Above It All was created to make the process easier. Our 24/7 free matching service will work with you to find the addiction treatment that is best suited for your needs. We want drug abuse to be something you can put in your past. Contact us today and let us find you help.