Recreational drug use & addiction

Cocaine is a strong stimulant drug, used for recreational purposes all around the world. Drug use is on the rise in the UK, with 1.3 million people admitting to having used Class A drugs in 2018/19. In addition, the number of cocaine-specific deaths has doubled since 2015, standing at 637 in the past year, and much of this can be attributed to the increasing acceptance of the drug on the party scene.

Cocaine produces a range of effects, which include increased energy and self-confidence, as well as euphoria, making it one of the UK’s favourite party drugs. For many, taking cocaine over the weekend has become as much of a habit as drinking a few pints with friends.

Whilst more socially acceptable, cocaine is still a highly addictive and dangerous drug, which can lead casual users into a serious addiction very quickly. Many have questioned why drug abuse is a social problem, but with the social acceptance of cocaine it is easy to see why. If you are a regular user of the drug, there is always the chance that you could develop a serious drug problem over time.


What Are The Signs Your Cocaine Habit Is A More Serious Problem?

Recreational cocaine use can often turn into a more serious dependency and habit, often without an individual realising it. Below listed are some of the common indicators and patterns we see when treating individuals struggling with cocaine dependency.

You Feel Like You Need Cocaine For Every Night Out

A sure sign that you are developing an emotional reliance on cocaine is feeling as though you cannot enjoy any night out with friends without taking the drug. If the idea that you would go out and not take cocaine seems impossible to you, then you need to get help as soon as possible

Your Eyes Are Permanently Bloodshot

Whilst you are high on cocaine, your pupils will become dilated and your eyes become bloodshot, but these symptoms disappear as the effects of the drug wear off. For more serious users, however, the whites of your eyes may start to look bloodshot for days or even weeks after taking cocaine.

Cocaine affects the sympathetic nervous system, raising your blood pressure and making the vessels in your eyes expand. With repeated use, these vessels may struggle to recover, leaving your eyes appearing red and irritated for long periods.

You Have Constant Stomach Upsets

Whilst any substance abuse leaves you prone to catching illnesses, cocaine specifically affects the blood flow through your body and to your organs. When your stomach and intestines lose blood flow they can become inflamed, which can lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and painful stomach cramps.

Over time, this organ damage can increase and lead to more serious problems such as necrotic bowel tissue, which could be fatal.

You Always Feel Like You Have A Cold

One of the most common ways to take cocaine is to inhale it through the nose, which irritates its delicate membranes and can cause nosebleeds and a runny nose. If you take cocaine regularly, this tissue can be worn down and damaged, resulting in you appearing to have a permanent cold.

Cocaine withdrawal causes shaking and tremors, similar to when you are suffering from a cold or flu, and the drug also stops users feeling hungry, so lack of nutrition leaves you open to more illnesses.

You Feel Anxious All The Time

A cocaine high causes users to feel over-confident and social, making them feel more able to enjoy a night out with friends. However, the comedown from coke causes the opposite effects, with users feeling anxious, paranoid and ‘on edge’. Over time, your brain starts to become reliant on cocaine in order to feel confident and social, meaning that whenever you are not high you feel depressed and paranoid.

If you are starting to constantly feel restless and anxious then this is a clear sign that you might be suffering from a dependence on cocaine.

You Can’t Get High Anymore

For repeated abusers of drugs, the body starts to get used to having a certain amount of the drug in order to produce the hormones and endorphins that it does naturally without them. In this case, cocaine increases the amount of dopamine released by the brain, leading to a short-lived high. Over time, the brain struggles to create and release a normal amount of dopamine unless cocaine is introduced, meaning that much more coke needs to be taken in order to feel high – if you can feel the high at all.

You Take Bigger Risks

If, in buying, taking or maintaining your cocaine habit, you start to take bigger and bigger risks then this is evidence of a problem. You might find that you are doing drugs at work, stealing or selling things in order to fund your habit, or just getting yourself into dangerous situations that you would not have done in the past.

Cocaine impairs your judgement, making these ideas seem positive at the time, but this can also be a sign that your need for the drug is starting to overrule your sense of self-preservation.

Do I Have A Cocaine Addiction?

It is impossible to know for sure whether or not you have a cocaine addiction unless you speak to a professional. The Ocean Recovery Centre is available to chat to you about your concerns on 01253 847 553 and give you advice about your next steps if you are worried.

You can self-refer to our service, so don’t have to speak to your GP if you don’t want to, and we offer a residential rehabilitation service that will help you to detox from the drug more easily. On top of this you will be able to take part in group and individual sessions which help you to get to the bottom of your addiction, and work out what it is that makes you addicted, in order to break these habits.

If you have noticed that:

•You use drugs to self-medicate against unpleasant feelings•You act differently or take big risks in order to access cocaine

•You have withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, muscle tremors etc when you don’t take cocaine)

•You struggle to maintain relationships because of your cocaine use

•You struggle to maintain jobs because of your cocaine use (see your job rights and whether you can be fired for drug use

•You find yourself thinking about taking drugs often

•You can’t enjoy yourself or manage stressful situations without cocaine

•You cannot stick to limits that you set yourself in order to curb your drug taking

…then it is important that you seek help as soon as possible, to stop your drug problem potentially getting any worse. The Ocean Recovery Centre is available to talk to you 24 hours a day, and we offer a safe, non-judgemental service that will help to get you back on the right track.


Cocaine addiction

Please click on one of the below links for more information on the Cocaine addiction treatment we offer.

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John Gillen - Author - Last updated: August 11, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.