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Discover Cocaine and Crack Use Signs and Symptoms

signs of cocaine addiction

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Cocaine is one of the most commonly abused drugs. It is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that comes in the form of powder and can be snorted, injected, or smoked. The type of cocaine that a user smokes is called crack, which in essence is crystallized cocaine that cracks when heated. Besides, read on about the signs and symptoms of drugs abuse to know how to help an addict.

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Table of Contents

Recognizing Someone is Using Cocaine and Crack

Cocaine and Crack User's Handcuffed Hands
Cocaine is a highly addictive illicit substance that can cause many severe side effects. Most of the time, cocaine users will not admit that they have a problem, and it is up to family members to react before it is too late. If one notices some of the following signs of cocaine and crack use, do not hesitate to ask for professional help.
The person who is using cocaine or crack will most likely show some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Often Going to the bathroom
  • White powder on one’s nose
  • Excitement
  • Talkativeness
  • Promiscuity
  • Lack of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Nosebleeds
  • Empty plastic bags and pipes left behind, as well as mirrors, rolled dollar bills, and other paraphernalia
  • Constant sniffing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Red eyes
  • Needle marks if the user injects the drug
  • Burn marks on the lips

What Are the Most Common Signs of Cocaine and Crack Use?

Other physical symptoms of cocaine and crack use include:

  • High blood pressure and heart rate
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Tremors
  • Flu-like symptoms

Psychological symptoms of cocaine and crack use include but are not limited to:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Nervousness
  • The sensation of well-being
  • Disorientation
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Hyperactivity

Dangers of Crack and Cocaine Abuse

Can cocaine be smoked? Unfortunately, yes: many addicts use this method of abuse to get high. The answer to whether cocaine and crack use can cause life-threatening consequences is a resounding yes. Excessive cocaine use can cause severe cardiovascular problems such as cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke.

What Are Long-Term Signs of Cocaine and Crack Use?

Cocaine and crack use may leave some severe long-term signs such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Tolerance
  • Dependence
  • Addiction
  • Apathy
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Insomnia
  • Drug craving behavior
  • Financial problems
  • Relationship issues and challenges at work

Some people use the drug to lose weight, but cocaine diet causes devastating dangers for the health and life generally. If one is worried about the loved one, make sure to talk to them. Choose the time when they are not high on cocaine and crack and tell them about the concerns. Do not be verbally aggressive and suggest seeing a professional.

How to Get Help?

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The first step toward recovery is admitting a problem. Make sure to find a good therapist that can help overcome cocaine or crack use problems.
For detox, doctors should conduct it in a controlled environment under strict medical supervision. Most cocaine and crack users continue their rehabilitation process in an inpatient clinic, where they can get all the help they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One of the primary services inpatient hospitals offer their clients is counseling. It can be both group and individual, depending on one’s needs. The counseling sessions are based on cognitive behavioral therapy with the goal to discover why addiction occurred in the first place. Furthermore, its other purpose is to introduce new coping mechanisms for everyday stressful situations.

Also, it is of paramount importance that the family of cocaine/crack users participate in family therapy sessions and work towards building a strong support system for the struggling addict.

Besides, learn how long is cocaine detectable in the body and does cocaine have a smell to know more about addiction and use signs.

  1. Crack, Powder Cocaine, and Heroin: Drug Purchase and Use Patterns in Six U.S. Cities. National Instituteof Justice. Office of National Drug Control Policy. 1997.
  2. Claire E. Sterk, Kirk W. Elifson, Lara DePadilla. Neighbourhood structural characteristics and crack cocaine use: Exploring the impact of perceived neighbourhood disorder on use among African Americans. Int J Drug Policy. 2014. 616–623.
Medically Reviewed By Michael Espelin APRN
Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.


Leave a comment

  • Maava Tito
    I don’t know if my partner is on drug. But I do ask him and he says No. But I do notice some of the symptoms that he do. But I can’t prove it.
  • Lisa
    I have a chronic disability and I believe my partner is addicted to crack. Money keeps missing and he always tells me that I’m wrong. He helps me physically with my disability so I’ve overlooked everything. Last night he was gone for 7 hours and spent $600. I have to find help for my disability so he can get help for his addition. He won’t admit that he’s been doing drugs for our entire 10 year relationship