How Can I Tell if Someone has a Cocaine Problem?


The thought of someone you love crouched over a line of white powder and snorting something that could potentially kill them is unsettling to say the least, especially if you’re the parent of a teenager.

These images inspire many sleepless nights and the very real concern for many of us is whether we would even notice if our friend, brother, or child had developed a cocaine problem. Let’s examine some of the common signs so you can put a picture together in your mind of what to look for.

1 - Dilated Pupils

One of the easiest to recognize is the presence of dilated (enlarged) pupils. Our pupils dilate normally in response to changes in the light and other biological factors, specifically the stimulation of serotonin levels. Cocaine raises serotonin in our bodies and therefore triggers the dilation of pupils. Of course, it isn’t the only drug that has this effect but it’s a good indicator that some kind of drug use is in effect.

2 -  Restlessness

Cocaine is best known for its powerful stimulation of the central nervous system, which causes extreme restlessness and fidgeting as the whole body is primed for agitated movement and energy. A cocaine user will experience surges of energy with racing thoughts and signs of agitation.  Think caffeine in overdrive.  Bouncing legs and other nervous motions are common signs of cocaine use and other stimulants.

3 - Twitching

Along the same lines as restlessness, the body will respond to cocaine and other stimulants with random muscle twitches and sudden impulsive movements. A cocaine user is often boiling over with energy until the high is over and their emotions and energy levels plummet to a steady baseline of flat emotions and lethargic sloth.

4 - Mood Swings

Since the central nervous system and energy levels are on a roller coaster ride with cocaine, a user will appear to have wild mood swings from one extreme high to an extreme low. They can switch from really excited to suddenly angry and irritable. Other emotional cues include acute paranoia and displays of arrogant superiority or narcissism.

5 - Paraphernalia

A more obvious indication of cocaine use is the presence of paraphernalia and materials commonly used in snorting cocaine.  These include razor blades (used to scrape the powder into a line) and rolled up dollar bills or other paper (used for snorting).  A white powdery residue can be the remains of cocaine.  These things found in pockets or backpacks are major indicators of a cocaine habit. While cocaine is a dangerous narcotic, it’s not necessarily a death sentence.  There are some amazing treatment options in the medical world these days and Banyan Treatment Center proudly offers a whole range of these programs for treating cocaine addiction.  

If you discover that the signs all point to a serious cocaine addiction, give us a call and ask about our inpatient rehab programs.

Get the help you need today at
Banyan Pompano.

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