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withdrawn and depressed.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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