Adjustment disorder is a temporary mental health condition that occurs after a significant change in someone’s life. This change can be a loss, relationship problem, stressful situation or another significant life change. Adjustment disorder is a decreased ability to cope with the change. The disorder results in several symptoms, including low mood, insomnia, sadness, anxiety, and anger. These symptoms are generally not as severe as a true depression and typically last for less than six months after they start.
Those who have adjustment disorder are more likely to use cocaine and other substances than they usually would be. Because adjustment disorder is caused by a decreased ability to cope with the change in circumstances, those with adjustment disorder are more likely to try substance use as a potential coping mechanism. Cocaine is likely to be misused with certain mental health disorders and may be more likely to be misused for adjustment disorder, as it is a stimulant and can create increased energy and elevated mood.
Prevalence of Cocaine Abuse and Comorbid Adjustment Disorder
Studies show that 2 to 8% of people have had adjustment disorder at some point in their life. While there are not any statistics available that reveal the frequency of cocaine abuse by those with adjustment disorder, it has been found that 76% of people admitted to a hospital for adjustment disorder were also diagnosed with a substance misuse disorder.
While statistics for cocaine specifically may not be readily available, substances — like cocaine — are more likely to be misused during adjustment disorder as the person struggles to find a way to cope with the situation that initially caused the adjustment disorder. Cocaine is a commonly misused substance, so it is reasonable to assume that it is likely one of the more commonly misused substances people use with adjustment disorder.
Does Cocaine Affect Adjustment Disorder Recovery?
Cocaine can cause several negative effects involving adjustment disorder recovery. Cocaine is addictive, and when used as a way of coping with adjustment disorder, addiction could develop. While using cocaine as a coping mechanism could lead to addiction, there are also several ways cocaine can affect the recovery from adjustment disorder. These include:
- Reducing other healthy coping techniques
- Delaying recovery
- Decreasing social support systems
Reducing Healthy Coping Techniques
Cocaine misuse can lead to a decrease in socialization and other healthy activities beneficial to recovery. Cocaine use may also become a crutch that keeps people from exploring other ways of coping with the situation that generated the adjustment disorder, thus negating the potential use of helpful treatment options.
Adjustment disorder lasts for less than six months. One of the key factors in recovering from adjustment disorder is finding coping mechanisms that help to reduce the effects of the situation that caused it. Using an unhealthy coping mechanism, such as cocaine, can delay the recovery process and mean that the recovery process needs to start over again once cocaine use stops.
Decreased Social Support
Cocaine use and the social effects of addiction lead to increased social isolation. This isolation can make the effects of the initial change worse and can lead to a decrease in the social support needed to cope with the change. Increased social isolation could also increase the risk that the adjustment disorder could become more severe and lead to more long-term depression.
Key Points: Cocaine and Adjustment Disorder
Adjustment disorder is sadness or decreased mood following a major change. Adjustment disorder is known to lead to substance addiction, including cocaine addiction. Some important points about the relationship between cocaine addiction and adjustment disorder are:
- Adjustment disorder significantly raises the risk of starting cocaine use
- Using cocaine prolongs the recovery process of adjustment disorder
- Cocaine use with adjustment disorder can lead to a long-term addiction
- The effects of cocaine on adjustment disorder are negative
- Using cocaine to treat adjustment disorder could lead to a lifelong addiction
If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine addiction, consider seeking professional help. The Recovery Village has a strong track record of helping people overcome cocaine addictions and achieve recovery. Reach out to one of our understanding representatives today to learn more about how The Recovery Village can help you start on your path to recovery.
Frank, Julia B. “Adjustment Disorders”. Medscape, November 1, 2016. Accessed May 16, 2019. Ford, Julian D. “Association of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorder Comorbidity with Cocaine Dependence Severity and Treatment Utilization in Cocaine-Dependent Individuals.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, January 2009. Accessed May 16, 2019. Mid-Michigan Medical Center. “Adjustment Disorder.” Mental Health Matters, September 2011. Accessed May 16, 2019. Carta, Mauro G. “Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment.” Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, June 2009. Accessed May 16, 2019.
Frank, Julia B. “Adjustment Disorders”. Medscape, November 1, 2016. Accessed May 16, 2019.
Ford, Julian D. “Association of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorder Comorbidity with Cocaine Dependence Severity and Treatment Utilization in Cocaine-Dependent Individuals.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, January 2009. Accessed May 16, 2019.
Mid-Michigan Medical Center. “Adjustment Disorder.” Mental Health Matters, September 2011. Accessed May 16, 2019.
Carta, Mauro G. “Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment.” Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, June 2009. Accessed May 16, 2019.