From its glamorization at New York’s infamous Studio 54 in the 1970’s, its impact on race relations during the War on Drugs in the 1990’s, and now its involvement in the opioid epidemic, cocaine has remained a constant, widely abused street drug.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 14,556 people overdosed on cocaine in 2017. Cocaine overdoses that involved opioids have now more than tripled since the beginning of the decade. Abusing cocaine and opioids at the same time is extremely dangerous, as cocaine is a stimulant substance while opioids are depressants. Consuming both at the same time can cause the body to go into overdrive and shut down. This is just one of the many ways in which cocaine abuse and addiction is still going strong today.

Never having been able to eradicate the abuse of cocaine, the United States continues to see more instances of cocaine addiction, which is clinically referred to as stimulant use disorder. Using and abusing cocaine is not something that only adults do, as NIDA’s Monitoring the Future Study shows that within the past year, 1.40% of 10th graders and 2.70% of 12th graders used cocaine.

Cocaine remains one of the most readily available substances of abuse in the country. Because of that, people of all ages abuse it for a number of reasons, ranging from trying to enhance their party experiences to attempting to drown out emotional distress. Whatever the reason is, someone who is addicted to cocaine will show signs of his or her addiction. And, if you are able to recognize those signs, you might be able to help him or her before it’s too late.

Signs Of A Cocaine Addiction

Anytime anyone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she will experience several symptoms of that addiction. The signs that others might be able to pick up on can vary based on how much an individual is using, how often he or she is using, and what he or she is using it with. As a result, some people’s cocaine addiction might not be as obvious as others’ and vice versa. However, there are a number of common signs of a cocaine addiction including the following:

Changes In Physical Appearance

When someone starts to deviate away from how he or she normally looks, that is often one of the first signs that something is going on. An individual who is addicted to cocaine can display several different kinds of changes in his or her physical appearance. For example, when he or she is high, he or she is likely to have dilated pupils and a runny nose. He or she might also have white powder residue around his or her mouth and/or nose, needle marks if he or she is using cocaine intravenously, burn marks on their hands, and poor overall hygiene. One of the most noticeable signs of cocaine addiction, however, is weight loss. Many people who are addicted to cocaine lose weight very quickly and become gaunt-looking in their appearance as a result.

Odd Behaviors

Since cocaine is a stimulant substance, when someone is using it often, he or she is likely to constantly appear to be unusually energetic, talkative, and seemingly all-over-the-place in terms of fast movement. On the heels of that spurt of extreme energy can quickly come strong mood swings and even seemingly depressive behavior. All of these behaviors can be seen within a very short period of time because the high that cocaine produces (which causes the stimulant effects) wears off within 20 minutes or so. And, when an individual comes down from that high, he or she can feel extremely mopey and irritable.

cocaine addict

Financial Problems

Of the many street drugs that are available today, cocaine still remains one of the most expensive. In fact, it usually costs around $150 per gram of pure cocaine. Depending on how much and how often an individual is using, he or she can blow through that gram in no time and need to drop more money after more money in order to keep up with his or her addiction. It is for this reason that several individuals addicted to cocaine struggle with financial problems because all of their money goes to funding their habits.


Some people, no matter what they are going through, are naturally defensive. However, when someone who has never been overly defensive is now suddenly finding him or herself consistently defending his or her actions, it is likely that he or she is using cocaine in an addictive fashion. This is because those who are addicted to cocaine either do not want others to know how bad their addiction is or want to be able to keep using without the influence of those who might try to make him or her stop.

Social Isolation

When an individual is abusing cocaine to the point where his or her abuse develops into full-blown addiction, he or she might pull away from people, places, or things that he or she once involved in his or her life. For example, someone with a cocaine addiction might begin isolating him or herself from others in an attempt to keep using without feeling judged. He or she might isolate him or herself from activities that he or she once participated in because the cocaine addiction has now taken rank as first priority.

It is important to be able to distinguish when someone is addicted to cocaine, especially if he or she is someone that you love. Being able to recognize the problem can allow you to hopefully find a resolution for your loved one.

Get Help

If you are addicted to cocaine or know someone who is, do not hesitate to reach out for help. The disease of addiction is one that can be treated and managed. You or your loved one do not need to live in pain any longer. With the help of the experienced staff at our cocaine rehab program, recovery is possible.