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4 Signs of a Cocaine Addiction

Nov 10, 2022

The resources of high-earning professionals can make hiding a cocaine addiction for a long time easier. You might not be consciously aware of someone with this kind of substance use disorder in your professional workspace or in your network right now. To be able to provide support for a colleague dealing with cocaine addiction, knowing some specific signs to look for can make a big difference.

Cocaine addiction signs can be seen in how someone’s behavior changes through physical symptoms, cognitive symptoms, and psychosocial symptoms. For example, you may see extreme mood swings (psychosocial), paranoia (cognitive), nose bleeds (physical), and hyperactivity (behavioral). Chronic users will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug abruptly. These symptoms include agitation, aggression, and cravings. Executives and professionals can find confidential help to recover from cocaine use in the private setting at Headwaters.

If you or a loved one need help, call our admissions team today at 561-270-1753.


Signs of cocaine addiction come from four distinct categories: behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial. In looking at these categories collectively, you can start seeing a pattern in how the heavy use of cocaine affects every aspect of a person’s life.

Behavioral Signs

When this kind of addiction occurs, you will notice changes to behavior that may include aggressive tones or acts, lying, stealing, exhibiting more energy, and showing hyperactivity. For example, you may hear rapid speech that doesn’t stop at appropriate moments. Cocaine addiction may prompt a person to take greater risks, too.

Physical Signs

Physical signs of cocaine addiction include some you can easily see. For example, it could be a bloody nose, excessive sweating, low appetite or weight loss, or dilated pupils. A person addicted to cocaine may experience seizures, too.

Cognitive Signs

This type of sign of cocaine addiction can become apparent in mood changes. They might show signs of euphoria at times, then agitation and irritability. They may express a sense of panic or appear paranoid. They may even experience hallucinations and psychosis, seeming to lose touch with reality.

Psychosocial Signs

Like the long-term use of any drug, a loss of interest in preferred activities can be a sign of cocaine addiction. For example, the person you know might show symptoms of depression often or higher levels of anxiety. Their mood swings can become more apparent, too.


Attempting to quit using cocaine after becoming addicted will produce a variety of withdrawal symptoms, some more severe than others. Intense cravings for cocaine—or an obsession with the idea of being able to control your cocaine use—are among them. The cocaine user may become aggressive, act paranoid, and show signs of an increased appetite. They may exhibit more anxiety at times. You may also notice them appearing drowsy at unusual times during the day.

One outcome of addiction may be using more cocaine to achieve the same high. Symptoms of overdose from cocaine include breathing issues, chest pain, and nausea or vomiting. After a cocaine overdose, you may also notice the person is confused, panicking, expressing feelings or paranoia, or experiencing tremors.


Cocaine addiction can have a significant impact on a professional’s health and well-being. High blood pressure, poor lung function, and permanent damage to vital organs are some of the potential physical results. Stroke, heart attack, and death are possible, too.

The body and brain do not suffer the effects of cocaine addiction alone. Family and other relationships can be harmed. A loss of employment or career status, divorce, custody of children, and financial hardships can all result from long-term cocaine addiction. Also, legal issues can stem from an inability to quit using or sustain sober living.


The world-class treatment team at Headwaters understands the daily demands of high-earning professionals and the critical nature of their positions. Not only is restoring the health and well-being of an executive important, but protecting a client’s career, livelihood, and reputation also become factors in treatment. In a private setting, confidentiality is a top priority to support professionals beginning the work necessary to return to their families and careers with greater success. Those who have experienced this kind of treatment program and gone on to successfully sustain their sobriety come from a wide variety of backgrounds: physicians, entrepreneurs, CEOs, attorneys, community leaders, and many others.

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Bedroom at HeadwatersHanley Foundation’s Headwaters is a non-profit addiction treatment program for executives, public figures, other affluent individuals, and their loved ones. Headwaters offers leading-edge, personalized clinical care for mental health and substance use disorders, and our professional and compassionate staff can help you achieve holistic wellness. To start your healing journey, call 561-270-1753 today.

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