Learn about the complex relationship between cocaine addiction and dependent personality disorder and find out how one affects the other.

Article at a Glance:

Cocaine use by those who have dependent personality disorder will typically worsen their dependent personality disorder and can lead to several other health problems.

There are some important points to remember for someone who has a dual diagnosis of cocaine addiction and dependent personality disorder. These include:

Cocaine use can lead to dependent personality disorder

Cocaine use can worsen dependent personality disorder

Sometimes dependent personality disorder and cocaine addiction are caused by similar means

Treatment of co-occurring cocaine addiction and dependent personality disorder involves treating both the cocaine addiction and dependent personality disorder

Cocaine and Dependent Personality Disorder

Dependent personality disorder is a mental health condition in which someone becomes highly dependent upon other people to meet their emotional and physical needs. This necessity leads to a long-term struggle to obtain an independent lifestyle. Studies indicate that those with similar personality disorders may be more vulnerable to developing a cocaine addiction.

When someone is addicted to a substance and also has a mental health disorder, this creates a condition called dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis requires simultaneous treatment of both the underlying mental health problem and the addiction that accompanies it. People with dual diagnosis often find that the addiction is worsened by the mental health condition or vice versa. Unfortunately, those with a dependent personality disorder may sometimes use cocaine to treat the problems or feelings that personality disorder can cause.

Does Cocaine Affect Dependent Personality Disorder?

Cocaine can affect mental health disorders, including dependent personality disorder. Cocaine use can lead to:

  • Increased social isolation
  • Poor decision making
  • Decreased likelihood of following treatments or medication schedules
  • Worsening symptoms of mental health conditions

These different factors caused by cocaine will negatively affect dependent personality disorder and lead to treatmentcomplications that can worsen dependent personality disorder.

Increased Social Isolation

The increased social isolation that cocaine use can cause affects the person with a dependent personality disorder. The isolation removes the social support to follow through with treatments or medication usage. It will also remove outside observers who can tell when dependent personality disorder symptoms are worsening or require additional treatment.

Poor Decision Making

Cocaine use leads to a decreased ability to make good decisions. This change can make people who have a dependent personality disorder less likely to follow through with necessary treatments. The lack of treatment can lead them to make poor choices that will have long-term legal or health effects.

Decreased Treatment Compliance

Cocaine can be a major life distraction due to the time needed to obtain and use it. Cocaine may also cause people to care less about other aspects of their life. These feelings can combine and cause a person to neglect their treatment for their dependent personality disorder. Without proper treatment, worsening symptoms are likely to develop.

Worsening Symptoms

Cocaine is known to worsen mental health symptoms. Using cocaine not only interferes with the treatment methods that are recommended for dependent personality disorder, but it can also make the symptoms of dependent personality disorder worse.

Can Cocaine Use Cause Dependent Personality Disorder?

Sometimes environmental or genetic factors that make cocaine addiction more likely in a person also make the probability of having dependent personality disorder more likely. This relation means that someone who has an addiction to cocaine or has dependent personality disorder may be at a greater risk of developing the other.

While it is possible that there may be an underlying factor that connects dependent personality disorder and cocaine addiction, there is also a large amount of evidence that cocaine or other substance use can increase the risk of developing mental health conditions such as dependent personality disorder. Those who are more likely to have a dependent personality disorder, but do not have it, may develop it once they start using cocaine.

It can be difficult to determine if dependent personality disorder was caused by cocaine use, but there is evidence that using cocaine raises the risk that dependent personality disorder will develop.

If you struggle with cocaine addiction or is using cocaine to self-treat dependent personality disorder, consider seeking professional help. The Recovery Village provides treatment for people living with addiction and has a strong track record of providing recovery for those with cocaine addiction. Reach out to one of our helpful representatives to learn how you can start on the path to recovery today.

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Editor – Thomas Christiansen
With over a decade of content experience, Tom produces and edits research articles, news and blog posts produced for Advanced Recovery Systems. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Benjamin Caleb Williams, RN
Benjamin Caleb Williams is a board-certified Emergency Nurse with several years of clinical experience, including supervisory roles within the ICU and ER settings. Read more

Bienenfeld, David. “Personality Disorders.” Medscape, February 15, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2019.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Dual Diagnosis.” August 2017. Accessed May 15, 2019.

Balducci, Thania. “Borderline Personality Disorder With Coc[…]ctional Connectivity.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2018. Accessed May 15, 2019.

Bardeen, Joseph R. “An Investigation of the Relationship bet[…]ating Role of Gender.” Comprehensive Psychiatry, January 2014. Accessed May 15, 2019.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders.” February 2018. Accessed May 15, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.