Is Someone In Your Family Addicted to Cocaine?

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated November 28, 2018

Families face many kinds of challenges through their years. Some of them can be external such as deciding if moving from one city to another is worthwhile to the the family’s well being and happiness or they can be internal such as helping a family member in distress. Many families have dealt with and will deal with a member combating addiction and its effects on both the individual and the whole family. A person abusing cocaine will likely not be especially open about their use but may behave in such a way where their family will notice the effects of use.

It’s important to not jump to conclusions or make accusations when dealing with the possibility that a family member is addicted to a substance like cocaine. Symptoms aren’t necessarily exclusive to cocaine use and making an accusation of abuse when there’s a possibility of simple stress or depression can possibly make the situation surrounding your loved one unnecessarily worse. A compassionate approach is generally more effective than ‘tough love’. A more open family will have an easier time of handling and ultimately helping their troubled family member.

Keeping that in mind, there are a few outward signs that someone may be addicted to inhaling cocaine (snorting) that are indeed unique to it. They include:

  • pupil dilation
  • chronic runny nose and nose bleeds
  • weight loss and general loss of appetite
  • irrational mood swings
  • more talkative than usual
  • noticable change in sleeping habits


The behavior changes, especially those with unpredictable mood swings and excitability, along with more tangible signs of cocaine addiction such as running out of money due to spending too much income obtaining the drug, can put unnecessary strains on family relationships. While it may be hard to navigate and process emotionally when dealing with a family member’s addiction, try not to lose sight of the fact they aren’t behaving this way by choice and that addiction itself is a kind of exploitation on the individual.

The person is not in complete control of their actions, even when they lash out angrily at those trying to help and understand them. As devastating as those moments can be and as damaging as they can seem, if they are not able to curb the addiction to cocaine themselves, it can consume them or even kill them as cocaine has the ability to cause heart and lung failure if used in heavy amounts in a single use. If used over a long period of time, it can leave lasting physical and psychological damage of the person.

addiction treatment servicesIf someone in your family is suffering from cocaine abuse, Northbound can help. Call (866) 311-0003 to speak to a counselor for more information. Our rehab center in Seattle is staffed with experienced professionals who can help your family start the healing process. 

Contact us today.


Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.