7.5 million people between ages 15 and 34 have used cocaine at least once in their life. Why do so many people use cocaine? Cocaine is a stimulant that gives users lots of energy and induces a state of euphoria.
While some use cocaine as a party drug, cocaine addiction is easy to develop. Cocaine causes an increased production of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that develops feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
Did your cocaine habit originally start as a party drug, and now you find yourself doing coke frequently? Here are 9 common signs of cocaine use and abuse.
Signs of Cocaine Use: Has Your Addiction Gone Too Far?
If you suspect your weekend cocaine splurging is turning into an addiction, understand these common signs of cocaine addiction.
1. Mood Swings
As mentioned previously, cocaine increases your dopamine levels to all-time highs. But when you’re coming down from the drug, your brain is drained from all pleasure-inducing chemicals. This causes severe depression when you’re “hungover.”
Moderate cocaine users may feel depressed, but they move past this issue as their body rids itself of cocaine. Frequent users can’t disconnect themselves from cocaine and they constantly feel highs and lows while on and off the drug.
2. Weight Loss
Cocaine is frequently used by supermodels for a good reason. One of the most common signs of cocaine addiction is weight loss. Cocaine affects many of your brain’s regular functions. One of them is appetite. While high on cocaine, your brain downregulates your need for food. In addition, cocaine causes your metabolism to increase. That’s because cocaine is a stimulant, causing many bodily functions to act in overdrive.
3. Risky Behavior
What is risky behavior? Experts say risky behavior includes theft, violence, poor decision making, criminal activity, and sexual encounters. Even if you’re a good person, there are connections between cocaine use and bad behavior.
Certain behaviors, such as poor decision making and sex, stem from the enhanced pleasure chemicals in the brain. Rather than think rationally, users “live in the moment” and are unable to control acting out to bring pleasure.
In addition, cocaine addiction can become debilitating. It’s natural for users to feel desperate for their next fix. If they don’t have the money or the connections to buy cocaine, they will engage in criminal activity such as theft to get it.
One of the most harmless but obvious side effects of cocaine use and addiction is being more talkative, a behavior commonly known as “jabber jaw.”
There are many reasons for this behavior. The two most common reasons are the increase in energy and a boost in confidence.
As a stimulant, cocaine causes a user to stay awake for long hours of the night. They’re more alert but the increased energy can also cause the user to be fidgety and twitchy.
They can’t control their body movements, but they also can’t control their thoughts. This is why some cocaine users also act spastic or out of the ordinary in addition to rambling on about different topics.
Another reason why the user becomes talkative is the boost in confidence. Cocaine makes you feel happy, social, and carefree. It’s easy to get lost in conversation.
5. Runny Nose and Nosebleeds
If you constantly have a runny nose, there comes a time when you can’t blame allergies or sickness. A runny nose is a common cocaine short-term symptom.
The powder penetrates the mucous membranes. This causes your nose to start running. Over time, cocaine damages the lining in your nostrils. This is why a runny nose could turn into frequent nosebleeds.
6. Neglecting Your Appearance
Beginning cocaine users may still find the time to select a nice outfit to wear or look presentable when going out with friends.
Over time, you stop caring about your appearance because getting high is your only priority. This includes disinterest in buying new clothes, keeping up with hygiene, basic grooming, and overall maintaining a good appearance.
In addition, cocaine does awful things to your body. A couple of the physical side effects include a puffy face and irritated skin. Users don’t care about these symptoms, therefore do nothing to treat them.
7. Changes in Sleeping Patterns
It’s no secret that sleep deprivation is one of the most common cocaine side effects. Constant alertness is also another main reason why people love using cocaine. But constant use permanently affects your sleeping patterns.
As you use cocaine frequently, serious changes occur within your brain and your body as a whole. Cocaine specifically affects the circadian, which regulates your biological clock.
8. Losing Interest in Passions
Why do we have passions and interests in life? It’s because they bring many rewards. Your passions, whether it’s a career or a pastime, cause an increase in dopamine. However, this is a healthy and natural increase in dopamine.
When you’re a cocaine addict, coke becomes your reward. Your dopamine levels increase beyond what is healthy.
This is what causes users to forego all of their previous passions and hobbies. They find themselves partying, hanging out at bars, or just doing nothing but coke.
9. Financial Difficulties
If you once had a decent-sized bank account, you can kiss that goodbye when you become a coke addict. Cocaine isn’t cheap. While prices vary between quality and location, most users pay between $100 and $120 a gram.
Cocaine addicts spend all of their money on their addiction, causing them to go broke. It’s common for addicts to ask loved ones for money or to start stealing money.
Are You Ready to Overcome Your Cocaine Addiction?
Knowing the signs of cocaine use and abuse isn’t always easy. Without treatment, cocaine can easily ruin your life. If you identified your addiction, you accomplished the hardest step. Now all you need to do is get clean. Are you ready to live a sober lifestyle? You have to detox from cocaine. An inpatient drug rehab program is your best bet to ridding your life of your cocaine addiction. If you’re in Stuart, Florida, take a look at our residential drug treatment program.