How Can I Tell If My Child Is High on Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that provides a euphoric rush and burst of energy. A person typically consumes cocaine by snorting the powder through the nose, though other means include smoking and injecting it. The cocaine epidemic peaked in the ’80s and ’90s, but it is still a major problem today. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) for 2008, there are almost 2 million cocaine users in America. It is especially popular with young adults as 1.5% of 18- to 25-year-olds reported use in the prior month.

Signs of Cocaine Use

The following are outward signs that might suggest cocaine use:

  • Consistently running or sniffling nose
  • Bloodshot eyes and a tired appearance
  • Restlessness, agitation and anxiety
  • Abnormal fatigue and exhaustion
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unwarranted paranoia

Cocaine’s effects last 15 to 30 minutes, and signs of a current high include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Verbose ramblings
  • Warm body temperature
  • Aggressive or violent behavior

If your child is trying to stay high, he or she will make short disappearances to the bedroom or bathroom at least once per hour.

Evidence of Cocaine Use
There are also cocaine-use clues that might show up in your child’s possessions, such as:

  • White residue on glass, mirrors or CD cases
  • Rolled-up dollar bills or cut straws for inhaling
  • Razor blades for cutting lines
  • Unexplained use of Ziploc baggies

Likewise, cocaine is one of the more expensive drugs (approximately $75 per gram, $200 per eighth ounce), so money flow can be an obvious sign. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my child suddenly borrowing a lot of money?
  • Did my child take out a loan for non-specific reasons?
  • Has my child maxed out his or her credit cards?
  • Do you feel money is missing from your wallet or purse?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, your child might suffer from an addiction, be it cocaine, gambling or pain medication.

Talking to Your Child About Cocaine

You do not need evidence or suspicion to have a drug-use conversation with your children. It is a parental responsibility. Here are points to make about cocaine use:

  • The police never overlook any possession amount of this illegal substance
  • Cocaine is highly addictive and progressively demands greater amounts
  • Leads to mood disorders and mental health issues, including anxiety and delusions
  • Adverse health effects include the disintegration of nasal passages and fluid in the lungs
  • Users can lose their sense of smell or suffer respiratory and heart problems, including asthma
  • An overdose can cause confusion, seizures, stroke and death

If a drug test becomes necessary, remember that cocaine only stays in the urine for two or three days, except in chronic users. Choose your timing carefully, or consider advanced tests that check for traces in the hair or blood.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If your child is abusing cocaine, proper treatment can help with detox by minimizing the withdrawals and providing a comfortable environment. Furthermore, addiction specialists provide:

  • Mental-health screenings to treat anxiety, depression and other mood disorders
  • Therapies that instill healthy new habits and reduce risky behaviors
  • A look at underlying causes (fitting in, academic pressure) that motivated use
  • Peer group therapy, one-on-one counseling and aftercare support

Help Quitting Cocaine

If you think your child uses cocaine, let us help. We can answer questions about drug-use signs, talking to your child and even staging an intervention. We can also explain treatment options and check health insurance policies for coverage. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day and get the help you need.

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