Signs of Cocaine Addiction & Drug Use

Cocaine Addiction UserAccording to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, six million Americans 12 years old and older have tried cocaine in 2006 and 1.5 million have tried or used crack cocaine (commonly referred to on the streets as “hard”) at least once in the past year. One of the most addictive drugs, cocaine gives users a euphoric feeling and makes them more energetic. Besides the impact to their families and employment, cocaine users risk heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and respiratory failure. In isolated cases, sudden death has been attributed to cocaine use. Cocaine may be snorted, inhaled, smoked or injected, with each method of administration producing a different duration and intensity of effect. Below are several signs to look for which may indicate someone you know or love is using or addicted to cocaine.

Regular Cocaine Users Experience Physical Changes

Look for physical changes if you think someone you know is using cocaine. The Cocaine Drug Addiction website states that cocaine users often have bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, nosebleeds, nasal problems, insomnia, or a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Regular Cocaine Users Experience Changes to Personality

Consider whether the person has been having personality changes, such as irritability, anxiety attacks or frequent moods swings. The Drug Independence website states that this can be a sign that he is “coming down” from a cocaine binge, or feeling the need to find and use drugs. Additionally, a cocaine user may exhibit dishonest behavior, such as stealing from family and friends. Paranoia can also be a sign of cocaine abuse, and the user may compulsively feel that people are after her or staring at her. Someone who naturally is even-tempered may become quick to anger as a side effect of cocaine use.

Cocaine Addicts Behave and Act Differently and Irresponsibly

Watch for reoccurring family issues such as the suspected cocaine user staying out later than usual or locking himself or herself in his/her bedroom. Household bills may go unpaid for unsatisfactory reasons, and unexplained debt may pile up as savings are depleted. Relationship problems are common, as the cocaine user often alienates him or herself from their support group while cultivating a new group of drug-using friends.

Decline in Performance and Work Problems

Investigate whether the person is having problems at work. Poor job performance can be a sign of cocaine use. Conversely, a person using cocaine may work extra long hours as the drug gives him a feeling of energy. Frequent absences or tardiness that has no legitimate excuse may be due to cocaine use, as can an unexplained job loss.


If you believe a friend or family member is using cocaine, it’s a good idea to contact a professional to learn how to cope with and help the drug user overcome their addiction.

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Written by William Charles, Owner and Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News, and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)

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