Understanding the signs, symptoms, and possible effects of cocaine addiction can be an important first step on the path toward successful long-term recovery. Sierra by the Sea in Newport Beach, California, is proud to be a source of accurate and relevant information about the impact of cocaine addiction.
Learn about cocaine addiction
Cocaine is a dangerous and highly addictive stimulant. When you ingest cocaine, you generally experience a powerful, temporary boost in motivation, mood, and energy. The intensity of these effects is short-lived, and the crash after they wear off tends to be emotional, leaving the user feeling motivated to use the drug over and over in order to maintain that pleasurable sensation.
Every time you use cocaine, you’re putting your health at great risk. Continuing to rely on the drug for that powerful high increases your chance of severely damaging outcomes, including addiction.
An addiction to cocaine is very difficult to overcome on your own. Unless you have an effective care plan, you might feel trapped in a downward spiral with no escape in sight.
Fortunately, cocaine addiction is a treatable condition. With the proper type and level of treatment, you can overcome the urge to use cocaine and start on a successful path toward long-term recovery.
Statistics about cocaine use and addiction
The following statistics about cocaine use and addiction are from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- From 2015 to 2016, the cocaine-related overdose death rate in the United States rose by 52.4%.
- Among individuals age 12 and older, the lifetime rate of cocaine use is 14.9%.
- From 2000 to 2015, the annual rate of cocaine overdose deaths rose from 1.26 per 100,000 people to 2.13 per 100,000 people.
- On a typical day, 4,300 adults age 65 and older use cocaine.
- Data from a 2011 study shows that cocaine was involved in more than 500,000 of the nearly 1.3 million visits to emergency departments for drug use.
Potential causes of cocaine addiction
A person’s risk for developing an addiction to cocaine can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the following:
- Family history of substance use or addiction
- Prenatal exposure to cocaine
- Associating with other cocaine users
- Being impulsive
- Past struggles with addiction or mental illness
- Having a parent or sibling who has struggled with addiction or mental illness
- Adversity during childhood
Symptoms of cocaine addiction
A person who struggles with cocaine addiction will experience a wide variety of signs and symptoms. As cocaine can impact people differently, symptoms may differ from person to person. Generally, the more common signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction include the following:
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that once brought joy
- Rapid talking
- Uncharacteristic aggression, recklessness, or energy
- Attempting to borrow or steal money
- Uncharacteristic self-confidence
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Dilated pupils
- High blood pressure
- Significant changes in energy level
- Racing thoughts
- Angry outbursts
- Violent or dramatic mood swings
The negative impact of cocaine addiction
Left untreated, an addiction to cocaine can have a devastating impact on a person’s life. If you struggle with cocaine addiction and don’t seek appropriate treatment, the potential negative effects that can occur include:
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Kidney and liver damage
- Poor performance at work or in school
- Job loss
- Chronic unemployment
- Strained or ruined relationships
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts and ideation
- Financial problems
- Arrest and incarceration
These effects are not inevitable. By seeking effective professional care for an addiction to cocaine, you can reduce your risk for experiencing the damaging consequences listed above. Getting help for cocaine addiction will allow you or your loved one to start healing from any past pain and prevent any further damage.
Common co-occurring disorders among people who are addicted to cocaine
Those who struggle with an addiction to cocaine may have an increased risk for developing the following co-occurring mental health disorders:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Antisocial personality disorders
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Gambling disorder
- Other substance use disorders
Withdrawing from cocaine and the risk of overdose
Effects of withdrawal: If you become addicted to cocaine, your body adapts to the presence of the substance. If you then attempt to end your use of cocaine, your body could respond with a number of distressing symptoms, known as withdrawal. The following are some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine:
- Persistent fatigue
- Powerful cocaine cravings
- Intense nightmares
- Sleep problems (insomnia or hypersomnia)
Effects of overdose: Overdosing on cocaine can have fatal consequences. If someone you know has been using cocaine and shows any of the following effects, it’s critical that you seek immediate medical attention:
- Twitching or tremors
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Extremely rapid or otherwise irregular heart rate
- Intense confusion
Don’t wait if you see anyone showing signs of an overdose. Make sure that you help them get medical attention as soon as possible.