3 Signs of Cocaine Use

Last Updated: Sep 2nd 2021

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Cocaine is a stimulant with no medical benefits. Therefore, using the drug is illegal and dangerous. If someone you know has a cocaine dependence, their health could be at risk. Learning to recognize these three signs of cocaine use can make a difference for a loved one’s recovery.

1. Short Cycles of Excitement or Stimulation

There are several different methods of cocaine use. Often, the users inhale it, rub it onto their gums, smoke it, or inject it. However, cocaine has a very short life. On average, users experience just 30 to 60 minutes of desirable effects.

Therefore, this short span means many cocaine users have two distinct personalities. It’s often easy to tell when a person is sober and when they’re under the influence of cocaine.

For example, when using cocaine, a person may seem energetic and confident. However, when they’re not using, they may seem grumpy, quiet, or lethargic. If someone you know seems to constantly cycle between these two extremes, perhaps multiple times in the span of one evening, they could be using cocaine.

A woman exhibits signs of cocaine use2. Chronic Sinus Problems

As mentioned, there are several potential methods of cocaine abuse. However, the most common is to snort or inhale the drug through the nostrils. Consequently, doing so regularly leads to countless nasal and sinus problems.

Additionally, it’s common for cocaine users to struggle with a runny nose. They might always appear to have a cold, or blame allergies. They might also suffer from chronic sinus infections, and even lose their sense of smell. Serious nasal problems with no reasonable explanation are another significant sign of cocaine use.

3. Disrupted Sleep Cycles

Since cocaine is a stimulant, it makes sense that it prevents sleep. Even more worrying, however, is that cocaine abuse can disrupt your circadian rhythm. After taking cocaine, sleeping may seem impossible. After the drug’s effects have worn off, getting restful sleep is still challenging. When individuals are tired, they’re more likely to rely on cocaine for energy. This continues the cycle and leads to chronic sleep problems.

How to Respond to the Signs of Cocaine Use

If you recognize these signs of cocaine abuse, take action. Facilities like 1st Step Behavioral Health offer various treatment programs that target and end addiction. Addiction help comes in many therapeutic forms, some of which include:

Family therapy
Dual diagnosis support
Holistic therapies
One-on-one talk therapy
Group counseling

Understanding the signs of cocaine can help someone who is struggling. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, patients receive guidance as they work toward lasting recovery. Call (855) 425-4846 to find freedom from cocaine use.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.