When someone has become addicted to cocaine, the consequences can be deadly. Addiction can occur very fast, and breaking the habit can be extremely difficult. Studies have shown that animals that have been given cocaine become addicted, will not eat or drink in their quest to get more. These test animals also would continue to take cocaine until they overdosed had not their supply been limited.

When humans are addicted, their lives quickly become a mess. They will do anything to get the next fix, to the exclusion of everything else. Relationships, job performance and finances deteriorate immensely. Students have their schoolwork suffer and may even drop out of school altogether.  Dreams are destroyed and worthy goals disappear.

Generally a white powder sold on the street, cocaine can be snorted, injected or smoked. Dealers dilute it many times with other substances such as sugar, talcum powder or even other active drugs. Other names for the drug are:

  • “C”
  • Coke
  • Blow
  • Snow
  • Flake

If you suspect a loved one is using cocaine, you should know the signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction and abuse. The items you may find indicating cocaine use are razor blades, straws, small mirrors, needles, syringes or tubing. You may find small baggies with white powder residue, small vials or glass pipes.

When someone snorts cocaine, you may see the person suffer from frequent nosebleeds, have a hoarse voice, lose the sense of smell, have trouble swallowing and/or have a constantly running nose.

There are a number of short-term effects as well as terrible long-term effects that come from the use of cocaine. At first you may notice the person has increased energy and yet is not hungry. Their pupils will be dilated. When larger amounts are taken, the person may behave erratically or even violently. Long-term effects include irritability, paranoia, hearing voices or sounds (auditory hallucinations), restlessness and other emotional disturbances.

Death is never far away when someone is addicted to cocaine. It is difficult for an addict to know how much to take to get that high he is looking for. Even those who use it once, risk sudden death. Death commonly results from cardiac arrest or seizures which are followed by respiratory failure.

Withdrawal from cocaine is never easy, but can be made more tolerable. It is vital that withdrawal is accomplished however. And it should be followed with a thorough detoxification to flush out all drug residues that have remained in the body. Only certain drug rehab programs offer such an effective treatment.

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