The use of cocaine in the U.S. is unfortunately relatively common, and especially so among young adults aged 18 to 25.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug, and it can be used in several ways. It’s often snorted by nose, but it can also be smoked, or dissolved and injected. The effects of being high on cocaine are relatively short-lived, so this drug lends itself to binging. This means that someone might use cocaine several times within a short time frame to keep their high going.
Many risks come with the use of cocaine. These risks include addiction, as well as erratic or violent behavior, changes in the brain, and health risks such as sudden cardiac events.
The following provides an overview of some of the ways cocaine affects the brain and also signs someone is using cocaine, such as what the eyes on cocaine look like, and symptoms of cocaine use in adults.
Some of the short-term effects of cocaine include feeling very happy or energetic, a sense of mental alertness, being very sensitive to stimuli, and in some people, it can also produce paranoia, aggressiveness or irritability.
For some people, the use of cocaine can help them be more productive at various tasks, while for others it can cause unpredictability and irrational or violent behavior.
The effects of cocaine last only a few minutes for the most part, and if people inject it or smoke it, these effects are shortest.
Some of the short-term physical effects of using cocaine can include constricted blood vessels, nausea, raised blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature, and tremors or muscle twitches.
The eyes are often a giveaway of drug use, because some drugs create pinpoint pupils that are very small, while other drugs cause pupils to dilate or appear very large. When pupils are dilated, they’re incredibly sensitive to light, so something like wearing sunglasses even when other people might not find it that bright can be a sign of cocaine use.
Cocaine eyes mean large, dilated pupils, and this occurs because this drug is a stimulant, and as endorphins and brain chemicals are released in large amounts, the eyes react through the dilation of the pupils, thus the term cocaine eyes.
In general, changes in the eyes, whether it’s the pupils on cocaine or a depressant such as opioids, can show intoxication. Along with looking at changes in pupil size, changes in the movement of the eyes and the color of the eye white area can also show intoxication.
As well as cocaine pupils that are dilated, eyes on cocaine may also appear bloodshot or red as blood vessels located in the eye expand.
First and foremost, since cocaine is a stimulant when someone is high on this drug they may appear more talkative, energetic and excited. They may also be more social, or sexual. Other symptoms of cocaine use in adults over the short-term can include loss of appetite, insomnia or strange sleep patterns.
In some people, symptoms of cocaine use can include aggression, delusional thoughts or behaviors or hallucinations.
Other outward physical symptoms of cocaine use in adults can include a runny nose, nosebleeds, track marks in people who inject the drug and burned lips or fingers in people who smoke it.
Health-wise some of the signs of cocaine use in adults can include an enlarged heart, a rapid heart rate, heart attacks and cardiac arrest.
When someone is a long-term user of cocaine, or they’ve just been through a period of binging on the drug, symptoms can include depression, feeling agitated or anxious, having cravings, exhaustion, or long periods of sleep.
In general, whether smoking it, snorting it or injecting it, when someone is a long-term cocaine user they will often display symptoms such as nervousness, fatigue without the ability to go to sleep and an overall deterioration of their career and social life.
If you or a loved one live with cocaine addiction or are using cocaine recreationally and want to stop, it’s time to seek professional help. The Recovery Village® provides care to those struggling with cocaine. Reach out to one of our knowledgeable representatives today to learn how you can start on your path to recovery.