One of the biggest fears of every parent is that their child is using drugs.
While the thought of a family member using any drug is frightening, cocaine use comes with its own set of worries and fears. Images of your son, daughter or other loved one crouched in a darkened alley or a dirty restroom using a drug that has a real potential to kill them is unsettling to say the very least. Coupled with the myths that surround cocaine use, the picture it paints in your mind can provide many sleepless nights.
While cocaine use can be life-threatening, it is certainly not a death sentence. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that are available that will help those addicted break and quit cocaine. It is important that both the addict and their family gets the help and support they need in order to healthy and happy. Knowing what to look for is an important first step.
The following are 5 signs that a loved one is using cocaine.
If you or a loved one needs help to stop using cocaine, we are always here for you. Call the Sober Nation hotline at 866-207-7436.
Common Signs of Cocaine Use
1. Dilated Pupils
For those who use cocaine, a telltale sign is the presence of enlarged (or dilated) pupils. Normally, our pupils dilate in response to changing light, during sexual arousal and when we perform complex cognitive tasks. Pupils also expand when people take stimulant-type drugs such as cocaine. Cocaine increases serotonin levels in the brain and helps us regulate our moods and feelings of well-being. Serotonin also can trigger the dilation response in the pupils of cocaine users.
Cocaine is a powerful central nervous stimulant that interferes with the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter dopamine and causes it to build up in the brain. As a result, extreme restlessness is a common sign of cocaine use that is highly noticeable. While under the influence of the drug, users experience intense surges of energy that can last for extended periods of time. If a loved one is showing constant signs of restlessness, irritability or racing thoughts, you need to pay close attention to other signs which can point to cocaine abuse and addiction.
Along with restlessness, another obvious sign of cocaine use is twitching. Twitching is the small movements of muscle within a small area of muscles and can numerous causes, including the use of stimulants such as cocaine. If your child or loved one is twitching on a regular basis and seems flat emotionally, it can be a sign of regular cocaine use.
4. The Presence of Paraphernalia
One of the more obvious signs of cocaine use is finding paraphernalia. Inevitably, every drug user slips up and leaves something where it can be found by another. You may notice items such as rolled up dollar bills with residue on them or short straws in their room or in their jacket or pants pockets. You may also find other items such as small baggies, razorblades, scratched CD cases or small mirrors and pipes hidden away or put in secret compartments such as a hollowed out book or drawers.
5. Wide Mood Swings
For those who engage in frequent cocaine use, they will experience a wide swing in emotions, often going from periods of euphoria to those of irritability, irritation and panic. Additionally, cocaine abusers can experience extreme paranoia and display feelings of superiority and narcissism.
If you are really looking for signs of cocaine use, pay attention to the ups and down. Many times cravings for cocaine lead lead to irritability. If your loved one disappears and comes back in a euphoric state, that may mean that they recently used. There could always be a reason behind mood swings, but if you are suspicious of cocaine use, this is something to look out for.