Telltale Signs of Cocaine Use

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on June 10, 2021.

Cocaine, which is also referred to as C, coke, blow or flake, is classified as a stimulant drug. Whether taken by inhalation, injection or smoking, cocaine usage causes a boost in energy and euphoria.

Cocaine also causes several adverse health side effects, affecting the user both physically and behaviorally.

Physical Signs of Cocaine Use

Because cocaine is a stimulant, it speeds up many of the body's physical functions. While signs can vary based on the method it's taken and how regularly the drug is consumed, cocaine typically causes individuals to talk and move faster than normal. They may even shake or twitch because of the drug's stimulating effect.

Other physical signs of coke use include:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Stomach pain and vomiting.
  • Headaches.
  • Loss of smell, runny nose, nasal irritation and nosebleeds.
  • High body temperature.
  • Elevated heart rate.
  • High blood pressure.

Another common sign is "cocaine eyes," which is when the individual's eyes become large and dilated, making them sensitive to light. Sometimes, the drug causes the eyes to become bloodshot as well.

When an individual overdoses on coke, they will also show many physical signs, including:

  • Chest pain.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Feeling hot.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Shaking.
  • Panic.
  • Vomiting.

Other Signs of Cocaine Use — Behavioral and Withdrawal Symptoms

While there are several physically visible signs of cocaine use, some indicators can be more behavioral. Cocaine usage generally tends to cause extreme mood swings. Since the drug is a stimulant, the user will typically be upbeat, talkative and excited soon after they consume it.

However, as the cocaine's effects begin wearing off, the user's mood can begin to change and become more negative. It can cause the user to become angry, hostile and restless. They may also start to withdraw and isolate themselves from friends and family. Some individuals may act nervous and suspicious and believe someone is out to get them. Others may be extremely tired and sad and show a lack of interest in things they once enjoyed.

The higher the dosage and frequency, the higher the risk for other behavioral, emotional and psychological side effects such as panic attacks and hallucinations. Often, a cocaine user can even experience effects such as anxiety, depression and paranoia even when they are not on the drug.

When trying to stop using cocaine, a user could experience several withdrawal symptoms. Most of these are psychological, such as cravings, fatigue and insomnia.

Diamond House Detox Can Help With Cocaine Withdrawal

Here at Diamond House Detox, we specialize in medically monitored detoxification. Our certified facilities and compassionate medical providers can help you start your path to recovery in our home-like environment. We'll aid you in doing this by providing you with individualized care and an aftercare plan that considers your specific needs and any underlying mental health symptoms you may have.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our available programs, we invite you to contact Diamond House Detox today.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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