Signs of Cocaine Abuse

There are numerous different physical and psychiatric signs that can indicate the use of cocaine in someone you love.

Because the drug is deadly and its use can contribute to the development of a number of acute medical emergencies and chronic deadly illnesses, it is recommended that no amount of cocaine abuse be ignored. Early intervention and treatment can help the patient to manage the risk already assumed by use of the substance and help him or her to avoid future risk caused by continued cocaine abuse.


Most cocaine users snort it as a powder. For this method of use, people often use items such as:

  • A rolled-up dollar bill or short piece of a drinking straw
  • A razor blade, credit card or other object with an edge to chop up the drug more finely
  • A flat or mirrored surface upon which to chop the drug
  • A pen cap, key or other item with a small flat tip to scoop the drug into smaller portions and snort

Some people opt to dissolve cocaine in water and then inject it alone or in combination with other substances. Paraphernalia for this purpose includes:

  • A cooker to heat up water and the cocaine to help it dissolve
  • A lighter or other heat source
  • Small cotton balls or pieces of a large one to aid in absorption of all the liquid
  • Syringe for injection
  • Tie to wrap around arm to stem blood flow

Sometimes people will smoke cocaine with marijuana, either in joint form or in a bowl. In this case, paraphernalia items may include:

  • Rolling papers
  • Cigars
  • Lighter
  • Metal pipe

Signs of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is a stimulant drug, so most people who use it will become exceptionally animated and chatty. They may also exhibit an exceptional amount of energy and be prepared to take on any activity – especially if they use the drug rarely, in small amounts, or are new to cocaine use.

In some cases, however, when the person uses large amounts of cocaine either all day long, frequently, or in a days-long binge, their mood can swiftly turn. Some who are under the influence of cocaine are surly, even violent or aggressive. They may feel unable or uninterested in talking and instead prefer to isolate, or they may seem suspicious or paranoid.

Additionally, people who use cocaine frequently often have a hard time sleeping, use larger and larger amounts of the drug, and frequently suffer from nosebleeds.

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Ongoing abuse of cocaine can lead to addiction, and addiction infects almost every aspect of the addict’s life. If addiction becomes an issue, you may notice that your loved one:

  • Experiences changes in personality (e.g., more time in isolation, less time doing things they used to enjoy, etc.)
  • Lies about drug use
  • Is frequently without money
  • Loses things that once were important to him (e.g., job, marriage, close friends, hobbies, etc.)

Cocaine Addiction Treatment: Life-Changing Help

If you believe that your loved one is struggling with cocaine abuse and/or addiction, we are here to assist you. There are various treatment options available to your addicted loved one – inpatient care, intensive outpatient treatment, and individual outpatient addiction treatment services – and the sooner he or she gets started, the sooner the entire family can start to heal. Call us today for more information

Further Reading About Signs of Cocaine Abuse

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