Addiction is a dangerous disease, and one that is often easily concealable. While strong indicators may be present during advanced stages of addiction, they can be overlooked by those unaware of the signs. According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for a substance use disorder within the past year, with approximately 10 percent reporting a substance use disorder at some time in their lives.
While many signs of addiction are universal, some substances generate particular side effects within the user. Such is true with cocaine abuse. Being the second most trafficked drug in the world, cocaine use continues to be widespread. Because of this,it is important to understand the common indicators of substance addiction in general, as well as the unique signs of cocaine abuse. By understanding these symptoms, you will be equipped to discern if you or a loved one is battling cocaine addiction.
Common Indicators of Addiction
Many signs of addiction are universal. These common indicators may be applied to any substance addiction, from cocaine to opioids to alcohol. They include:
- Change in Appearance
If an individual has lost or gained significant weight, it is often a sign that a substance addiction has developed. Being indifferent towards personal hygiene or grooming is also common among those battling addiction.
- Financial and Legal Troubles
Those struggling with a substance addiction are frequently involved in legal issues, such as arrests or receiving citations. Due to the cost of maintaining a supply of their drug of choice, financial stress is another common indicator of abuse.
- Loss of Interest
Once an addiction has fully formed, individuals often lose interest in hobbies and relationships they once enjoyed. The addiction eventually becomes the sole interest of the individual.
- Neglecting Responsibilities
Neglecting family, employment, or other fundamental responsibilities is a strong indicator of substance abuse. Once addiction has developed, the only remaining responsibility in the mind of the user is obtaining more of their drug of choice.
Signs of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine has a profound impact on an individual’s life and health. These signs are unique to cocaine abuse. Along with the previously listed common indicators, the following side effects are indicators that cocaine use has become an addiction.
- Cardiac Issues
As a stimulant, cocaine increases blood pressure and heart rate, putting stress on the heart. After prolonged or excessive use, the heart can suffer irreversible damage due to this stress, leading to various health complications.
- Nasal problems
The most common means of cocaine administration is snorting through the nose. This act can damage blood vessels within the nasal passage, resulting in frequent or excessive nose bleeds. Cocaine abuse can also cause damage to the nasal canal, resulting in a permanently damaged or “deviated” septum.
- Development of Psychiatric Disorders
Cocaine targets neurotransmitters in the brain which cause the feeling of euphoria when high. Prolonged use of cocaine can cause brain chemistry to shift, disabling the brain from organically managing or producing neurotransmitters. Because of this, extensive use of cocaine is known to provoke dormant mood and mental disorders such as anxiety, panic disorders, depression, or psychosis.
Asheville Recovery Center Can Help
Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that has the potential to cause irreversible damage when abused. It is important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation.
A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more. The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome alone.
If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828)518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.