The Connection Between Cocaine Use and Anxiety

The Connection Between Cocaine Use and Anxiety

Cocaine continues to be one of the most popular illegal drugs in the US. People often use cocaine to deal with negative feelings, because the drug acts as a short-term stimulant that speeds up brain function. This can help users stay awake, alert, confident and provide a burst of energy that many find appealing. While the immediate effects of cocaine don’t last long, they are enough to provide users with the rush they are seeking.

So, what does this have to do with anxiety? When it comes to overall mental health, anxiety is one of the most common disorders people face. And as such, people often turn to cocaine as temporary relief from the burden associated with the disease.

Cocaine Use and Coping with Anxiety

In general, the stimulant in cocaine can help to temporarily boost a person’s self-esteem. This boost of confidence allows individuals to act more comfortable in social situations that they may otherwise find intimidating. And for a person who often suffers from social anxiety or generalized anxiety disorders, this short-term relief from the negative feelings often brought on by chronic anxiety can be extremely appealing.

Typically, a physician would prescribe anti-depression or anti-anxiety medications to deal with long-term anxiety. Unfortunately, some people still turn to cocaine for immediate relief from the burden of living with anxiety. What they often don’t realize though, is that abusing the drug could actually worsen the symptoms of anxiety.

Can Cocaine Cause Anxiety?

Heavy or chronic cocaine use is linked to speeding up activity in certain neurotransmitters within the brain. This interaction can cause racing, uncontrollable thoughts, paranoia, and sometimes negative thinking. All of these symptoms can also contribute to a person’s existing anxiety disorder.

Cocaine can also cause:

  • Stress
  • Loss of sleep
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Overthinking
  • Worrying
  • Anxiety attacks

Consistent use of the drug can lead to a dependency on cocaine’s effects to reduce anxious feelings and thoughts. However, this addiction to cocaine can also cause symptoms of withdrawal. Anxiety is a common feeling associated with withdrawal, creating a vicious cycle for users dealing with cocaine addiction.

In order to effectively recover from a cocaine addiction, it’s necessary for a person to seek treatment for both their anxiety disorder, as well as their cocaine addiction. These are two separate illnesses, but need to be treated together in order for your loved one to fully overcome their dual diagnosis disorder.

Find Answers to Your Important Questions at Spirit Mountain Recovery

If you have questions about a loved one’s relationship with cocaine, you’re not alone. Spirit Mountain Recovery can help your loved one get to the root issues that caused their addiction and help them find alternative ways to channel their energy. Our unique approach to recovery is backed by evidence-based treatments that encourage fun, healthy outlets and help to reorient life goals. Learn more about our campus in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Contact us today.