Signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that can be highly addictive due to the short but intense high that it creates. This substance is usually snorted through the nose in white powder form, and because the resulting euphoric state is very brief, if you begin misusing cocaine often, you will likely build up a tolerance to the drug. This tolerance means that you will need to take more cocaine with increasing frequency in order to achieve the desired effects.

As your cocaine misuse becomes more frequent, you are likely to experience damage to your mind and body; this can affect your home life and performance at work or school. If this sounds familiar to you, it may be due to the fact that your cocaine addiction has spiralled out of control, resulting in what clinicians refer to as a 'cocaine use disorder'. Longer-term, it can lead to people suffering from anxietydepression, paranoia and panic attacks.

Fortunately, there is help available for individuals who have developed an addiction to cocaine and other illicit substances. Although an addiction to a stimulant such as cocaine can be difficult to overcome, residential treatment that offers specialist programmes for cocaine misuse concerns, can help you to regain control of your life and leave your addiction in the past.

Find out more about cocaine addiction treatment.

Cocaine misuse symptoms

The signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction will vary from person to person, and this is the case with all types of substance misuse concerns. However, there are several behavioural, physical, mental and social symptoms that have been identified which have shown to be reliable indicators that you may be suffering from cocaine use disorder.

Behavioural symptoms of cocaine addiction

  • Acting impulsively or with increased energy
  • Attempting to borrow or steal money
  • Being dishonest about your whereabouts, associates and activities
  • Being unable to curtail your cocaine misuse
  • Engaging in reckless and risky behaviours

Physical symptoms of cocaine addiction

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose
  • Persistent nosebleeds
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bursts of energy
  • Reduced need for sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Stroke
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Heart attack
  • Breathing problems
  • Hypertension

Mental symptoms

  • Poor decision-making capabilities
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Psychosis
  • Brief state of euphoria
  • Sudden overabundance of confidence

Social symptoms

  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Social withdrawal

Effects of cocaine misuse on daily life

Chronic cocaine misuse will cause damage to your mind, body and spirit, and as stated previously, cocaine addiction will affect each person differently. However, you can expect to experience some, if not all, of the outcomes described below if you do not seek treatment for cocaine addiction.

  • Family problems
  • Academic failure
  • Financial problems
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Substandard occupational performance
  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Arrest and imprisonment
  • Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal


When a person’s body adapts to the presence of cocaine, its absence may trigger the onset of a variety of distressing physical and/or psychological symptoms, including but not limited to the following:

  • Intense cravings for cocaine
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

One of the many benefits of receiving professional treatment for a cocaine problem is that you will be able to withdraw from this substance in a safe and closely supervised environment. Detoxification, or detox, is a medically monitored process that can help you to rid your body of the cocaine with greater comfort and minimal risk. 

For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding cocaine addiction treatment and rehab, please call  0800 840 3219 or click here for a free addiction assessment.