Cocaine Use and Abuse

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Movies and television shows tend to glamorize cocaine use and abuse. Wall Street executives snort the drug before major deals. Tony Soprano uses cocaine as he gambles. Nurse Jackie inhales cocaine before her shift at the hospital.

While some shows demonstrate the devastating consequences of cocaine abuse, many others do not. It’s no wonder so many teens decide to give the drug a try.

Cocaine Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Spotting cocaine use is relatively easy. In fact, there are several different categories of symptoms that parents can look for in order to spot abuse. As soon as that abuse is detected, it’s time for the teen to get help. At Newport Academy, we provide a variety of programs that can help teens kick an addiction to cocaine.

If you suspect that your child is developing an addiction, we urge you to call us.

Physical Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is commonly sold in two formats: a powder format that is inhaled through the nose, and a crystallized format known as crack cocaine that is heated and inhaled, or heated and injected.

The physical signs of any form of cocaine use can include restlessness and hyperactivity, such as rapid, blurred speech. Cocaine users might also develop paranoia, and at high rates of use, some teens become violent or psychotic.

Teens who snort cocaine might develop consistently runny noses. They might sniffle almost all the time, or carry handkerchiefs and tissues with them at all times. Teens who inhale crack cocaine might develop a runny nose as well, but they might also have chemical-laced breath. According to an article in the magazine New Scientist, up to 15 percent of crack cocaine users heat and inject the drug. These users might have needle marks on their arms or legs. These spots can also become infected and itchy, causing the user to dig and scratch repeatedly.

Environmental Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Teens who snort cocaine might leave behind a powdery residue on mirrors, CD cases and other flat surfaces. They might also leave behind tiny spoons or straight razors that they use to chop up cocaine for use. In addition, powdered cocaine is remarkably expensive. According to an article published in The Economist, a gram of cocaine can cost up to $120 in the United States. Teens who use powdered cocaine might need to steal in order to support their drug habits.

Crack cocaine users might also leave behind telltale signs such as:

  • Glass vials that once held crack cocaine
  • Glass pipes used to smoke crack
  • Lighters
  • Spoons used to heat the drug
  • Discarded needles

In addition to the paraphernalia and accoutrements of cocaine use,  crack cocaine is quite pungent when it is heated. Often teens use air fresheners or candles to try to mask the smell. In addition, disinfectants and cleaning products mistakenly are used by teens to hide signs of crack cocaine use.

If you discover such evidence of cocaine abuse or crack cocaine abuse in your home or in the vicinity of your teen, action needs to be taken. All forms of cocaine use take the same dark path towards disaster. As seen on the news over the years, cocaine abuse and crack cocaine abuse have led to numerous criminal outbreaks and countless overdose deaths.

Cocaine abuse is serious, but the addiction can be treated. Please contact us for support. We are here to help.