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Recognizing Cocaine Abuse Signs

When first starting out on cocaine, the drug’s effects can easily be seen as positive considering the increased focus and energy users experience. With continued use, cocaine’s effects start to do more harm than good, both physically and psychologically. Within a fairly short period of time, cocaine abuse signs start to surface as symptoms of the drug’s effects take a toll.

The longer a person uses the drug, the worse cocaine abuse signs become. Recognizing cocaine abuse signs early on can help ward off addiction and save a person much heartache and frustration.

For most anyone who abuses cocaine on a regular basis, cocaine abuse signs become most apparent in three areas: emotional state, behavior and an ongoing inability to stop using.

Brain Effects

According to the University of Cambridge, the feelings of increased energy and sensory awareness caused by cocaine stem from cocaine’s ability to disrupt neurotransmitter chemical processes in the brain. With each dose, brain cells secrete massive amounts of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, all of which are essential neurotransmitter chemicals. With regular use, brain cell functions become impaired and unable to secrete neurotransmitter chemicals on their own.

Brain cell functions will continue to deteriorate for as long as a person keeps using cocaine. Cocaine abuse signs develop and become increasingly worse for as long as a person continues to use.

Negative Emotional State

cocaine addiction treatment

Someone who is abusing cocaine will feel irritable, burnt out, and fatigued after using cocaine often.

According to Bryn Mawr College, people who use cocaine on a regular basis often start to develop a negative emotional state. As a cocaine abuse sign, negative emotional states result from the unusually low levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine neurotransmitter chemicals play a central role in helping regulate a person’s emotional state and instilling a sense of overall well-being.

With ongoing cocaine use, a person’s emotional state becomes increasingly negative or discontent unless he or she is getting “high.” With long-term use, this cocaine abuse sign will persist regardless of whether a person is “high” or not.

Binging Practices

In general, cocaine produces short-acting effects that can wear off fairly quickly. When someone’s been using cocaine on a frequent basis, withdrawal effects will develop as the drug’s effects wear off. Withdrawal effects take the form of:

  • Irritability
  • “Burnt out” feeling
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness

Users engage in binging practices as a way to counteract these effects. Binging practices involve ingesting large doses of cocaine in succession over a short period of time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this cocaine abuse sign is one of the most dangerous of all in terms of the potential for overdose and the damage done to brain cells.

Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose

Chronic Relapsing

The resulting brain damage caused by cocaine abuse actually reinforces the addiction cycle and drives addicts to continue using. Until brain cell functions get a chance to heal, drug cravings and withdrawal effects will only get worse with time.

Cocaine’s debilitating effects make it especially hard to stop using. People who’ve made multiple failed attempts to stop using well know how uncomfortable cocaine withdrawal effects can be. Chronic relapsing is a serious cocaine abuse sign that indicates a person will most likely require professional treatment help in order to stop using altogether.

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