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10 Signs of Cocaine Use - Are you Dating a Drug Addict?
Dating is a wonderful way for potential partners to get to know each other; and yet occasional meetings and dinners could still hide so much that is important. One of these could be something as hazardous as drug abuse. If you suspect that there is something ‘off’ about your date or you have particular suspicions about cocaine or its street version crack – here are ten signs to watch out for.
- Mood changes
One of the first symptoms of drug abuse in a person is changes in his/her emotional behavior. If you are just dating, you may not have the opportunity to notice changes in daily habits which are easier to spot in spouses or family members abusing drugs. However if your date was of an average temperament to begin with but lately has been showing signs of a nervous behavior, greater anxiety, restlessness and being talkative, you may want to dig further. A person abusing cocaine will also experience moments of extreme energy, followed by moments of fatigue and exhaustion. However be careful about openly confronting your date about his/her mood swings since when approached about things that seem out of the normal most addicts are full of excuses, fictitious stories, and downright anger. Extreme mood swings is again followed by onset of jitters. So watch for signs of shakiness or trembling in your date after a brief period of ‘high’. Jitters are caused by increased levels of dopamine in the brain that lead to excessive energy. Tremors or hyperactivity may be noticed as the hands tremble or the person's legs or arms twitch or are in constant movement.
- Physical signs
Apart from mood swings, cocaine use is also accompanied by certain physical signs in an addict. Among the tell-tale signs that you can watch out for on your date are burnt marks on his/her fingers which keep reappearing and cannot be properly explained. This is especially true in case of crack cocaine smoking which can also be indicated by burnt marks on other body parts like singed eyelashes and brows. Dilated pupils are another symptom of cocaine use since the drug causes the pupils to become larger. Other physical signs that should put you on your guard are bloodshot eyes as well as occasional nosebleeds. Use of cocaine causes the mouth and nose to become dry and if your date has been snorting up cocaine through the nose, then he/she is likely to develop frequent nose bleeds from the drug irritating the nasal passages. Apart from nosebleeds, a runny nose with no obvious signs of illness is another indicator of cocaine use.
- Loss of weight
If your date had a normal appetite and body weight to begin with and then started losing weight at an alarming rate, you should be on your guard for drug abuse. Loss of appetite is one side effect of cocaine use and a person using cocaine may begin to lose weight so rapidly that the change in appearance is impossible to ignore. Also cocaine use can make a person experience nausea and the constant need to throw up which further inhibits appetite.
- Changes in sleeping habit
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant which is why a person using this drug seems to be tireless and forever on a high; thus if your date is addicted to cocaine, he/she may go for longer periods of time without sleeping or sleep at hours that are out of character for him/her.
- Drug paraphernalia among your date’s possessions
The biggest sign of drug use is paraphernalia and while such things are easier to spot when you and your partner are sharing a house, even in a casual date, objects commonly used as drug paraphernalia should put you on guard. While pipes, razor blades and bongs, are paraphernalia most commonly associated with cocaine use, in fact anything can be used as a vehicle to use drugs like small mirrors typically used for shaving, crushed soda cans with holes punched into them, pens with their innards removed, anything glass that has openings on two ends or with black residue like a lighter has been held to it a long time. Also watch out for small pouches of white powder residue in your date’s possessions which may be used to store the drug.
- He/she disappears suddenly
If you find your date disappearing at sudden times in the middle of date, without so much as saying a word, then you should be on your guard. While an emergency at home or workplace – as in case of a doctor – can be a valid reason to leave abruptly, such situations are always transparent and there is nothing to hide. On the other hand, if you find your date slinking away to the washroom in a restaurant or to the basement on a home date, it could be because he/she is using cocaine. Drug addicts usually have a favorite spot and a favorite time no matter how hard they try to hide it. Also just like cravings can strike a pregnant woman any time, the same may be true of drug addicts which is why your date may be compelled to disappear without rhyme or reason.
- Things go missing
If you have been spending a lot of time together to the extent that your possessions are often lying around at each others place, then any sign of valuables or money going missing should act as a red flag. Your partner may try to convince you that you have misplaced and refuse to help you look for it – mainly because he/she knows exactly where it is – at the pawnshop or with the dealer. Cocaine is an expensive drug. The National Institute on Chemical Dependency reports that the high cost of cocaine is often what makes users become dealers of the drug. A person using cocaine may start to sell or trade his possessions for money or drugs but as he/she runs out of money or own possessions to sell, he/she may steal those from others. It mmay seem inconceivable but drug addicts have been known to barter even their wedding ring to finance their next high.
- He/she starts seeing things
Prolonged use of high doses can cause symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and paranoia. So if your date has been exhibiting most of the above signs and then starts seeing things and points out objects which are simply not there, you know there is something serious going on.
- Prone to violence
Another symptom of prolonged cocaine use is a tendency to violence. Cocaine users can come off as irritable, snappy or even threatening when they get cravings. Many users become aggressive when they are looking for their next fix and cannot find the means. Then again, when taken in high doses, cocaine can create muscle spasms and tremors, and make a person exhibit violent and abnormal behavior. So if you find your date hitting the rood without any obvious cause, addiction to drugs may be to blame.
- Past history
Prior drug use could be a factor in using drugs in the present. If you know that your date has a history of cocaine use, then many of the above signs in conjunction with this knowledge, should put you on alert. While you should not assume that in case of erratic habits, your date has automatically relapsed, at the same time don't lead yourself into the belief that it cannot happen again. There will always be the option but when and if your date relapses, it will be because of what he/she chose and not what you did or did not do.