Cocaine abuse and addiction is a growing problem that’s relatively widespread. It can affect men and women of all ages from all walks of life. It’s a highly-addictive substance that’s often used recreationally as it can make people feel more confident, energetic and euphoric.

There are several signs that someone is using, these include:

  • Appearing agitated and overly enthusiastic
  • Losing inhibitions
  • Being hyperactive
  • Common cold symptoms such as a runny nose and sniffing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Changes in concentration and focus

The signs and symptoms of this addiction may be more difficult to spot as many people living with addiction become very skilled at hiding their problem. If you’re worried about how much cocaine you’re using, there’s a strong chance that you’re addicted.

When addiction takes hold

Even with minimal use, this drug can trigger unpleasant effects such as paranoia, tics and tremors. Long-term use puts your health at significant risk – which is why it’s so important to pick up signs of addiction sooner rather than later.

If you’re experiencing any of the following, it’s time to get help:

  • Taking risks such as using cocaine while at work or before driving
  • Neglecting work, family and friends to spend more time using cocaine
  • Struggling to maintain relationships because of cocaine use
  • Getting into trouble with the police/law
  • Carrying on using cocaine despite the negative consequences and feeling that you can’t stop

Long-term and lasting effects

The impact of prolonged use is considerable in every way. One of its most serious effects is heart-muscle damage that could lead to heart attack and cardiac arrest (even in young, healthy people). Other physical potential effects include stroke, seizures, brain damage, respiratory arrest and kidney damage.

Cocaine can also instigate changes in the brain’s chemistry over time. This can result in psychotic symptoms and erratic (even violent) behaviour. You might also find it more difficult to make decisions and concentrate on everyday tasks.

As recreational use crosses the line into long-term use and addiction, cocaine can take over every aspect of your life. It can isolate you from your friends and family leading to anxiety and depression. Many people living with cocaine addiction lose their professional standing and reputation, and financial problems are common due to the pressure of funding this habit.

Contact Step One Recovery today and take your first step on the path to a full recovery.