Mental Signs Of Cocaine Abuse

All forms of cocaine may impact a person’s mental health. Some of the mental signs of cocaine abuse include paranoia, agitation, psychosis, or intense mood swings.

Cocaine is an illegal white powder stimulant drug with powerful effects. Because the effects of cocaine are so powerful, cocaine use very often causes cocaine addiction.

Cocaine addiction has both physical and mental symptoms.

For instance, the physical signs of cocaine use may include nosebleeds, high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, and even heart attack.

Meanwhile, this kind of substance abuse also creates long-term brain changes that impact behavioral health.

Thankfully, these changes are treatable. When people know how to spot the different mental signs of cocaine use, they can spot those symptoms more easily in a loved one.

Short-Term Mental Signs Of Cocaine Abuse

When a person takes cocaine or crack cocaine, they experience an immediate rush of dopamine.

Dopamine is a reward chemical that creates feelings of well-being, so this rush feels good. However, this rush may only last for a few minutes.

Furthermore, it may also lead to other short-term mental health symptoms, especially anxiety, irritability, and paranoia.

The desirable short-term effects of cocaine include alertness, focus, and an increased desire to socialize.

Because of the alertness and focus, some people misuse cocaine to treat ADHD symptoms.

Long-Term Mental Signs Of Cocaine Abuse

Though many of the short-term effects of cocaine are desirable, the long-term effects can have a profound negative impact on mental health.

This is especially true if the person has any co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or depression.

Some of the long-term mental side effects of cocaine abuse may include:

  • mood swings
  • worsened symptoms of mental illness
  • feelings of despair and hopelessness
  • increased sensitivity to stress
  • loss of focus
  • panic attacks
  • cocaine-induced psychosis

Behavioral Signs Of Cocaine Abuse

Sometimes, the mental effects of cocaine addiction result in outward behavioral signs. When this happens, it may be easier for people to spot drug abuse in a loved one.

Any amount of cocaine can lead to erratic behavior. Some of these signs may appear immediately, but they may become more prominent over time.

Some behavioral signs of cocaine use may include:

  • poor decision making
  • loss of interest in food, hygiene, responsibilities, and relationships
  • inability to focus on a conversation
  • violent behavior

Cocaine And Sleep Deprivation

As a stimulant, cocaine affects sleep. At first, cocaine lowers a person’s need for sleep, helping them feel energetic even when they have not slept well.

However, cocaine continues to create sleep disturbances with repeated use. In fact, one of the signs of cocaine addiction is chronic insomnia.

Sleep disruption is a physical symptom of cocaine use, but that sleep disruption can also affect mental health.

Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to have higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Lack of sleep can also worsen anxiety, depression, mood swings, and clouded thinking.

Cravings And Cocaine Withdrawal

Some cocaine withdrawal symptoms also affect mental health.

When an addicted person intentionally goes through detox or unintentionally loses access to cocaine, the drug will start to leave the body.

The amount of time this takes can vary, depending on how long they’ve used cocaine, how much cocaine they’ve used, and whether they deal with any other kinds of drug use.

During this process, they will likely experience several symptoms. One of the most prominent of these symptoms is a strong craving for the drug, the main cause of drug relapse.

Many cocaine withdrawal symptoms are physical in nature, but withdrawal may impact mental health, too.

Some mental signs of cocaine withdrawal may include:

  • feelings of hopelessness
  • anxiety
  • lack of pleasure
  • irritability and mood swings
  • agitation
  • paranoia

However, it is possible to detox from cocaine safely. If a person attends a medical detox center, doctors can help them through withdrawal symptoms and monitor their healthcare.

Cocaine Addiction Recovery

Cocaine addiction is a mental health disorder, and the symptoms of cocaine addiction can make recovery complicated. However, recovery is possible with the right cocaine addiction treatment.

Treatment centers can help a person through the withdrawal process, go over their treatment options, and provide support through therapy and 12-step groups like Cocaine Anonymous.

If you, a family member, or another loved one might have a cocaine addiction, contact Spring Hill Recovery Center.

We use evidence-based care to help people recover from substance use. Call us today to get started and learn more about your treatment options.

  1. National Institute On Drug Abuse — What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?
  2. National Institute On Drug Abuse — What Are the Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?
  3. National Library Of Medicine — Cocaine Withdrawal
  4. National Library Of Medicine — Interactions Between Sleep, Stress, and Metabolism: From Physiological To Pathological Conditions

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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