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Signs of a Cocaine Addiction

Feb 1, 2019

The opioid crisis in the US has mostly overshadowed another growing problem: cocaine is back. Nearly a million Americans struggle with cocaine use issues every year and cocaine is responsible for about 40 percent of drug-related emergency room visits. Fatal overdoses from cocaine have been increasing exponentially in recent years. In 2016, more than 10,000 Americans died from cocaine-involved overdoses, more than double the number of just two years before. Cocaine is short-acting and creates a huge dopamine spike in the user, which make it extremely addictive. It can also lead to health problems very quickly, especially heart attack and stroke. Here are some warning signs of cocaine addiction.

If you or a loved one need help, call our admissions team today at 561-841-1033.

Behavioral signs

Cocaine gives you a lot of energy and confidence, so if someone who is typically reserved or quiet suddenly gets talkative and reckless, it might be a sign of stimulant use, including cocaine. People using cocaine typically need less sleep. Not being tired after a night of drinking is often a sign of cocaine use. Cocaine use can also lead to anxiety, agitation, and paranoia. People using cocaine often become more aggressive, which can lead to fights or accidents. In some cases, excessive cocaine use can even lead to stimulant psychosis, which can include disorientation and audio or visual hallucinations.

More general signs of substance use include secretive behavior, spending more time alone, or changing friends. People who have developed substance use issues often like to protect their using time, so they may cancel plans or get angry when their regular routine is disrupted. When out, they may disappear for a while and return acting differently. They may borrow or steal money or other items to pay for drugs. They may also lose interest in things they used to enjoy or become alienated from friends and family. Withdrawal symptoms often include irritability and extreme fatigue or sluggishness.

Physical signs

In addition to agitation or fidgeting, someone with a cocaine addiction may show physical signs such as dilated pupils, runny nose, nose bleeds, traces of powder, or sudden weight loss. Since cocaine irritates the nasal cavity, they may sniff or blow their nose a lot. Burns on hands, fingers, or lips may be another sign.


Presence of paraphernalia is another indication of cocaine use. This might include razor blades, mirrors or glass, rolled up paper, glass pipes, or baggies. These don’t indicate addiction, per se, but they certainly indicate use.

Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for mental illnesses and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting wellness. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.

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