How can you recognise when a loved one is caught in the thrall of

cocaine addiction? The highest rate of cocaine addiction worldwide is

in young adults aged between eighteen and twenty five.

It is notoriously difficult to get an accurate count of course, but

most estimates place more than half a million cocaine addicts in the

USA alone. How can you tell if someone you care about is in the grip

of this highly dangerous drug?

The symptoms of cocaine addiction usually fall into two

broad categories - the physical signs, and the social and

emotional side effects.

If you know someone who is exhibiting a range of these symptoms they

may be throwing their life away on a cocaine addiction - give us a

call today for free help and advice in confronting the addict and

encouraging them to seek professional help.

Cocaine is a stimulant, which means that the immediate

physical effects after intake can include fast breathing,

bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, increased body

temperature, sudden chills, physical tremours or shakes

and generally hyperactive behaviour.

Blood pressure often rises as the drug causes the coronary arteries to

constrict which affects normal blood flow. This diminished oxygenated

blood supply to the heart can cause convulsions and even heart


Longer term there are additional physical symptoms to

watch out for. A constantly running nose and/or

nosebleeds are a well-known side effect of the "snorting"

method of taking cocaine.

Appetite often deceases which causes weight loss, and the body's

immune system also starts to shut down which leads to an increased

vulnerability to colds, flu and other such illnesses.

The behavioural symptoms of cocaine addiction can be

just as, if not more, visible to a caring friend or partner.

The most commonly witnessed behaviour - and often the

one which triggers initial suspicion of a problem - is

periods of incredibly high energy followed by prolonged

and excessive sleeping.

Addicts tend to lose interest in normal activities, even those which

once might have been their favourite hobbies and pastimes, and become

withdrawn and depressed. More erratic actions such as bouts of overly

speedy talkativeness and irritability are also common. This can give

rise to additional psychological issues leading to paranoia,

hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

Isolation is also very common amongst addicts of all

types, including those addicted to cocaine. The addict

will be inclined to distance themselves from interaction

with their family, friends and normal social circles.

Holding down employment becomes difficult thanks to

the combination of increased physical strain, causing

absences, and the breakdown of relationships. Even

gainfully employed addicts can fall into habits of stealing

money or pilfering items of value in order to feed their

expensive habit.

This behaviour is normally first exhibited against family and close

friends but can rapidly degenerate into more extreme criminal

behaviour if not addressed with dispatch.

If you recognise any of these symptoms in the behaviour

of someone you care about, it may be time to contact an

intervention specialist or start looking into ways to help

the addict into cocaine rehab to address their problem.

The expert counsellors and addiction advisers at

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