The connection between cocaine abuse and anxiety is astounding. The way that cocaine can affect a person’s mental and physical well-being can result in exacerbated symptoms of anxiety, or newly onset anxiety that can be difficult to manage. Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant that has been used for thousands of years simply for the stimulant effects that it produces. About 100 years ago, scientists were able to isolate the stimulant properties and use it in various ways, including in early development of soft drinks. Nowadays, the only legal use of cocaine is its use in anesthesia for specific medical procedures.
Cocaine is illegal when it is not being used in this manner. This is due to its addictive properties and the results that can occur. Struggling with cocaine can lead to devastating results. Understanding how cocaine can affect the body and anxiety is an important factor in getting proper care.
Anxiety is defined as excessive worry that can seem to be out of line with any potential danger someone could be facing. There are many symptoms that anxiety could produce, however people struggling with anxiety may not exhibit them all. They vary from extreme worry to sleep troubles. The way that cocaine abuse and anxiety are linked is due to the way that it can affect the brain’s chemistry, and thoughts about life.
Cocaine can affect the way a person handles stress in their life. Because it is a stimulant, any underlying issues with anxiety can be exacerbated by abusing cocaine. Cocaine abuse and anxiety can both be life altering conditions that can have long lasting impacts to a person’s life.
The effects of cocaine on the brain can include a sense of euphoria. For people who already struggle with anxiety, this euphoric feeling can seem like relief from the symptoms of anxiety that they could be experiencing. It can seemingly help alleviate these symptoms, lowering the levels of worry and doom a person with anxiety could be experiencing. However, the reality is that, in the long run, cocaine abuse will only exacerbate symptoms of anxiety.
As a stimulant, cocaine speeds up brain activity. Using cocaine and anxiety symptoms heightening is something that almost goes hand in hand because of this. Overstimulating the brain can cause symptoms of worry and distress to worsen over time, and those who struggle with these afflictions should seek professional medical intervention to prevent these symptoms from worsening.
Cocaine is highly addictive. The long term effects on the brain and body can be severe. When a person makes the decision to better their life and get off of cocaine, there can often be some severely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can arise. Depression, trouble sleeping and cravings can be difficult to deal with for someone who is in this position. However, another symptom of cocaine withdrawal can be increased anxiety.
The body is trying to revert itself back to normal functioning without the use of cocaine. The brain is also working to self heal. As the toxins introduced to the body by abusing cocaine are removed, symptoms of anxiety can seemingly become worse. This is because when cocaine enters the body, it quickly binds to the dopamine receptors in the brain that are responsible for feeling good. When this is removed, the brain has to get used to not having that stimulation, which leads to exacerbated symptoms of anxiety.
Knowing the signs of potential cocaine abuse can be beneficial to encouraging loved ones to seek help as soon as possible. These signs can be indicative of someone struggling with cocaine abuse:
Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are extremely uncomfortable and can be dangerous if not properly addressed. For those struggling with a dual diagnosis, meaning mental health conditions like depression and anxiety in conjunction with cocaine abuse, addressing these symptoms is extremely important.
Symptoms like worsening depression and anxiety can lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Other symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can include mood swings, irritability, aggression, changes in blood pressure and heart rate, sweating, changes in appetite, insomnia or excessive sleep and fatigue. Properly addressing these symptoms with a medical professional can be helpful for those trying to start with a clean slate, and begin healing from the effects of cocaine abuse and anxiety.
Struggling with cocaine abuse is a challenge that can be difficult to endure. The effects that can impact a person’s social and personal life can be extremely overwhelming. These effects can spill over into a person’s physical and mental health as well. For those that are struggling with cocaine abuse, there is hope.
If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine, Lexington Addiction Center can help. We strive to provide the best care possible for those individuals looking to begin a new life, free from cocaine. Reach out today and begin your journey to recovery!