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A close-up image of a man snorting lines of cocaine through a piece of paper on a silver tray.

Early Signs of Cocaine Use: Here’s What You Should Know

Nearly 1.3 million Americans have cocaine use disorder.

Cocaine is an illegal substance that acts as a stimulant, causing short bursts of elation and “highs” immediately after taking it.

People can either snort or inject cocaine, leading to short- and long-term adverse side effects that can harm overall health and well-being.

Considered a schedule II drug, cocaine is highly addictive, and many who use it struggle with its addictive properties for long periods.

The good news is that you don’t have to live with cocaine use disorder forever. There is help available.

If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine use and addiction, we can help you recover.

Our treatment specialists at Alpine Recovery Lodge use a personalized approach and long-standing drug addiction experience to assist you through each step of your recovery journey to get you to a more sober tomorrow.

Don’t delay treatment; get the help you need now.

Let’s dive into understanding cocaine use in further detail, including what it is and its side effects, early signs of usage, and treatment options.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is an addictive substance classified as an amphetamine—directly affecting the central nervous system.

It has often been referred to as a stimulant due to its ability to peak feelings of pleasure, alertness, energy, and attention.

Cocaine is derived from the South American coca plant and is illegal in the United States.

Aside from its standard name, cocaine is often referred to as:

  • snow
  • coke
  • blow
  • rock
  • crack

Most often created and ingested in powder form, cocaine can also come in a crystal rock substance. Cocaine is most commonly snorted, but some rub the powder against their gums, mix it with liquid and inject it, or heat the crystal form and breathe the produced smoke into their airways.

All types of cocaine ingestion are harmful to the body and the overall health and well-being of anyone who uses it.

Side Effects

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that causes both short and long-term side effects.

The most common short-term side effects include:

  • increased energy
  • heightened alertness
  • extreme sensitivity to sound, touch, and light
  • decreased appetite
  • mood changes, including irritability, intense happiness, or anger
  • paranoia

Long-term use can have an extremely negative effect on the body and brain. In fact, stronger, more frequent cocaine usage can change your overall brain chemistry.

Other long-term side effects include:

  • cravings and addiction
  • headaches
  • seizures
  • mood changes
  • sexual issues
  • lung damage
  • heart issues, including heart disease or heart attack
  • stroke
  • nose problems, including loss of smell, constant runny noses, and nosebleeds
  • difficulty swallowing
  • HIV or hepatitis (if injected)
  • bowel trouble

Early Signs of Cocaine Use

While the most common sign of cocaine use is a noticeable change in a person’s mood or behavior—there are other early signs to be aware of.

Common signs of cocaine use include:

  • depression or anxiety
  • euphoria
  • acting or feeling superior to others
  • lying
  • increased energy
  • a change in attention space or alertness
  • financial problems
  • social withdrawal from people and things that once brought fulfillment
  • a sudden increase in risky behaviors
  • restlessness
  • excited, rapid speech
  • restlessness
  • violent outburst
  • drug paraphernalia
  • damage to nasal passages
  • dilated pupils
  • loss of sense of smell
  • chronic runny nose
  • hoarseness
  • delusions or hallucinations
  • paranoia

If you notice any signs consistent with cocaine use in someone you love, we recommend working with an addiction treatment specialist for further evaluation and help.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Detox Options Near You

If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction, our team at Alpine Recovery Lodge is here for you through it all.

If not medically managed and closely monitored, detoxing from certain substances, including cocaine, can be quite uncomfortable and cause debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

Working with addiction specialists to help you assess and ease your symptoms and detox effectively is the best option for a more manageable detox and better long-term sober results.

Call 801-874-2917 and speak confidentially with our recovery experts to start your road to cocaine addiction recovery today.