How to Tell if Your Child is Using Cocaine

How to Tell if Your Child is Using Cocaine

child using cocaine

Is Your Child a Cocaine Addict?

Nobody wants to think their child or loved one may be using cocaine. While a child using any drug is overwhelming and scary, cocaine carries with it a unique set of fears.

how to tell if your child is using cocaine

The so-called “hard drugs”, like cocaine, heroin, and meth immediately make any parent assume the worst. Thinking of your child hunched over in a dingy bathroom, sniffing a potentially lethal white powder, isn’t pleasant. Couple that with the many myths and false information surrounding cocaine, and any parent is going to be terrified.

Fortunately, someone close to you using cocaine isn’t a death sentence. Today, a loved one with a cocaine problem has more options for help than ever before!

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe that help and support are vital for every family affected by cocaine use. The first step is simply learning the warning signs of cocaine use.

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Signs of Cocaine Use

The following is a list of common signs of cocaine use.

Dilated pupils

Cocaine, among other drugs, dilates the pupils. If your child seems to always have wide eyes, they may be using cocaine.

Extreme restlessness

Cocaine is a CNS stimulant. That means it speeds up how the body processes and sends information. Cocaine also causes a surge in energy, which can last even after the main effects of the drug have worn off. If your child or loved one is often restless, you may want to examine their other behaviors carefully for signs of cocaine use.


Much like extreme restlessness, twitching is another common sign of cocaine use. Cocaine’s stimulant properties are responsible for this side effect. If your child or loved one is twitching more than usual, this may be a sign of cocaine use.

Excessive sniffing

Although some uses smoke or inject cocaine, most prefer to sniff the drug. After sniffing cocaine, users will experience a “drip.” This is when cocaine drips from membranes in the nose down the throat. To combat this waste of drugs, users will often sniffle. Frequent cases of the sniffles may mean that your child or loved one has been using cocaine.

Cocaine paraphernalia

Things like short, chopped straws, rolled-up dollar bills, small baggies or vials with white residue, razor blades, scratched up mirrors or CD cases, crack pipes, and syringes are all types of cocaine paraphernalia. If you find these in a child or loved one’s possessions, they’re probably using cocaine.

Effects of Cocaine

For the user, effects of cocaine include:

  • Increased energy – Cocaine works by releasing large amounts of dopamine and then blocking how cells reabsorb the neurotransmitter. In addition to causing euphoria, this surge in dopamine causes the body to release adrenaline and speed up all major systems.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure – because cocaine causes a user’s heart rate to increase dramatically, their blood pressure will often skyrocket. As a result, cocaine users are at an increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Increased alertness – there’s a reason cocaine users are often shown peeking through the blinds in movies and TV. Cocaine can cause increased energy and hyper-awareness. A cocaine binge can can alertness to morph into paranoia and fear.
  • Euphoria – cocaine makes users feel like they’re invincible. Normal feelings of happiness and confidence are amplified, taking them to all-new levels.
  • Numbness – in addition to being a CNS stimulant, cocaine is also a topical anesthetic. Cocaine is a vaso-constrictor, which means that it decreases blood flow. The result of this is a sense of numbness.
  • Withdrawals – cocaine withdrawals aren’t the same as heroin withdrawals. Rather than producing a physical dependence, cocaine produces an incredible mental craving. Common withdrawal symptoms include irritability, restlessness, increased appetite, sleeping for extended periods of time (sometimes upwards of twenty-four hours), depression, and anxiety.

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What Do I Do if My Child is Using Cocaine?

Unfortunately, there’s no quick answer for what to do if your child or loved one is using cocaine. It’s a process, and the first step is to learn as much as you can about cocaine and your child’s use.

Important questions to ask include: What are the long-term side effects of cocaine? How dangerous is it? What are the different routes of administration and the associated risks? How much cocaine is your child or loved one using? How long have they been using? Do they want to stop? If so, what type of help is best suited for them?

A great way to get answers to the above questions is to call a treatment center and speak to an outreach coordinator who are can share their experience and knowledge about cocaine and recovery with you.

In fact, give Lighthouse a call. We’d be more than happy to answer any and all questions you have. We’re more than simply a rehab. We’re a group of individuals committed to changing how substance abuse and recovery are viewed and treated.

Call us today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or (561) 381-0015.

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