Cocaine and Anxiety | Does Cocaine Cause Anxiety?

Cocaine and anxiety often go hand-in-hand, leaving people to wonder, “Does cocaine cause anxiety?” The following provides an overview of what to know about the relationship between cocaine and anxiety, and answers the “Does cocaine cause anxiety?” question. Cocaine is an addictive drug that results in a euphoric high and rush of energy in most cases. In some cases, however, when someone takes cocaine, they may instead experience adverse effects such as aggression, paranoia, or anxiety. When people use cocaine, there is also the potential that they become psychotic or experience severe mental symptoms.

There are different forms of cocaine which are cocaine hydrochloride, crack and freebase. Cocaine hydrochloride is the white powder form of the drug that’s snorted by most people, but can also be injected or ingested. Freebase is a white powder as well, and crack cocaine is a crystallized form of the drug that’s smoked. Since cocaine is a stimulant, it creates rapid messaging to and from your brain, and it’s addictive, leading to cravings for the drug.

So, does cocaine cause anxiety?

Cocaine and Anxiety | Does Cocaine Cause Anxiety?
With substance abuse and mental health, two primary scenarios can occur. The first is that someone who already has an issue with anxiety or another mental health issue may turn to drugs as a way to self-medicate. When that happens, the cocaine may not cause the anxiety, but it may heighten the symptoms of anxiety and make it worse. There are also instances in which someone doesn’t have anxiety, but after using a drug like cocaine for a period of time, they may develop symptoms of it. There are several reasons that anxiety is linked to cocaine use:
  • Cocaine is a stimulant, which speeds up and amplifies the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. When there are high levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, it can create anxiety. Anxiety is actually known as one of the most common side effects of cocaine, and this effect can be heightened if you suffer from anxiety before taking cocaine.
  • In addition to cocaine and anxiety being an issue while someone is high on the drug, during withdrawal, it is a problem as well. When you’re coming off cocaine, the level of neurotransmitters in your brain drops dramatically, which can contribute to anxiety as well as depression. Your brain is trying to normalize itself when you come off cocaine, and anxiety is just one side effect of this.
  • Some of the side effects of this drug can evolve into anxiety. For example, one of the primary side effects of cocaine is insomnia, and insomnia can contribute to anxiety or make it worse.
Finally, when answering the “Does cocaine cause anxiety?” question, it’s important to consider that in addition to the mental effects of the drug, there are also lifestyle effects that can lead to anxiety. For example, cocaine is illegal, and obtaining it can be expensive and risky, so this can create anxiety or make it worse.
Cocaine and anxiety often go hand-in-hand particularly in long-term and chronic user of the drug, and it’s one of the number one drugs, in terms of its contribution to mental health problems. When your brain is repeatedly exposed to this stimulant, it becomes more difficult for it to respond to natural stimuli that you would normally find rewarding. The circuits in your brain are more sensitive while struggling to respond to natural stimuli, and the results are often related to mood and mental health. Statistics show that there is a high risk of the abuse of cocaine and anxiety occurring together, and if you already have an anxiety disorder, and you abuse a substance like cocaine, the risk is even higher that you will develop a severe emotional problem.
Cocaine isn’t the only drug associated with anxiety. The chemicals in most other drugs, including prescription pain medicines, hallucinogens and even marijuana tend to change the brain in a way that can lead to anxiety. With cocaine and anxiety, the symptoms can persist even weeks after the last time of use, and anxiety is one of the number one symptoms of cocaine withdrawal.
Does cocaine cause anxiety? Yes, but the good news is there are treatment options available that can help, if you’re struggling with cocaine addiction. With cocaine and anxiety, or any other substance use disorder and mental health disorder combination, it’s important that both are diagnosed and treated together, but also independently of one another. If someone is seeking treatment for cocaine abuse, and their underlying anxiety isn’t addressed, it will be more difficult for them to be successful in their recovery. To summarize:
  • Cocaine abuse and anxiety often occur together because cocaine is a stimulant which speeds up the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Cocaine and anxiety also occur together because the comedown or withdrawal from this drug can lead to difficulties returning to normal, and a symptom of this can be anxiety.
  • It’s not uncommon for cocaine abuse and anxiety to co-exist because people with pre-existing mental health conditions can turn to drugs as a way to self-medicate.
  • When you suffer from cocaine addiction and anxiety, it’s important to receive treatment that addresses both.
Cocaine and Anxiety | Does Cocaine Cause Anxiety?
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Cocaine and Anxiety | Does Cocaine Cause Anxiety? was last modified: October 20th, 2017 by The Recovery Village