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How Can I Tell if Someone is Using Crack Cocaine?

August 3, 2010 in drug rehab

It’s not always easy to tell if someone is using a drug like crack cocaine; however, there are symptoms for which you might look. Cocaine, in particular, may be subtle, so if a person is only using occasionally or only using a small amount, the use might not be readily detectable. However, as the use of the drug grows, so do the signs of usage, and these symptoms can range from very slight, such as a nosebleed, to extreme, such as a heart attack.


Both cocaine and crack cocaine produce immediate and short-lived euphoria, which will make the user feel more energetic. In that sense, there’s some similarity to caffeine, where the cocaine will cause alertness and reduce hunger. The psychological effects may be feelings of well-being, an increased, even grandiose, sense of power and ability, although this may be mixed in with restlessness and anxiety. When the drug wears off, the user might experience deep depression, and then a “crash,” wherein the user becomes lethargic, and, depending on the amount taken, might sleep off and on for a few days.

If a user is high on cocaine, he or she may have dilated pupils; if the cocaine is snorted, the user may sniff often and rub at the nose; speech may be louder than normal, even sped up and particularly chatty; more gestures than normal may accompany the speech. Regular use of cocaine may cause any number of psychological problems, such as depression, paranoia, mania, anxiety, even hallucinations and schizophrenia-like behavior.

In the case of crack cocaine, a user may have all of the above symptoms, but also is more inclined to aggressive and paranoid behavior. A binge and crash pattern is also similar to those abusing regular powder cocaine. Because crack cocaine is smoked, a regular user may also have wheezing and chest congestion.

While anyone might experience these symptoms for other reasons — nose bleeds, manic behavior, short-lived euphoria followed by lethargy and depression — if you know someone has the potential for crack cocaine abuse and is exhibiting these signs, then there you may have cause to investigate further.

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3 Responses to “How Can I Tell if Someone is Using Crack Cocaine?”

  1. Jenny Barton says:

    Today cocaine is the most abused drug in USA and mostly made in South America. Some choose to mix it with ether or prefer to smoke. Our brain produces large quantity of dopamine, when some one is taking cocaine, causing the neurons to be continually stimulated. Hence, that person experiences a state of euphoria and finds it pleasurable. And gradually become addicted to it. This highly strong and dangerous stimulant increases blood pressure, heart beat and respiration. Even it may cause death from cardiac arrest and heart attack.

  2. Henry Arnold says:

    I have found this article an informative one. There could be common serious health problems such as – heart problems, nervous system problem, respiratory problem, digestive problems, skin infections, HIV and even death. Like all other drugs it also changes the user’s brain, resulting unpredictable behavioral change. So, we must stop this deadly disease from spreading anymore, at least we can help our near ones from these sufferings. They need our extended supports.

  3. dylan says:

    Jenny, I believe prescription drugs are now more popular than street drugs and there are more deaths from prescription than illegal drugs. Sad state of affairs and they wont de-criminalize pot, but our doctors can push as much killer drugs as they like.

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