Cocaine and anxiety go hand-in-hand. These two issues have a very interesting relationship because their connection can go both directions. Cocaine use can lead to an anxiety disorder, but conversely, anxiety can lead to self-medicating through cocaine. Often they are so interwoven that by the time an individual reaches a treatment program, it’s hard to even tell which came first.
If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine and anxiety, a cocaine rehab in Florida can help. Call Footprints Beachside Recovery at 727.513.5972 today to learn more about the link between the two.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
When someone has both an issue with cocaine and anxiety, they have a dual diagnosis. This means having two mental health disorders, both of which need to be addressed for the individual to recover. Dual diagnosis is more common than many people realize, with estimates suggesting that nearly 8 million Americans simultaneously struggle with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder.
It can be difficult to distinguish between someone with both a mental health disorder and an addiction. Many people assume that substance use is causing their mental health symptoms when in reality, these can be caused by either condition.
Using Cocaine to Self-Medicate Anxiety
Someone dealing with anxiety might turn to drugs as a way of self-medicating. In this scenario, the cocaine did not cause the anxiety disorder, but it may heighten the symptoms and will eventually make it worse.
Once this pattern begins, the brain forgets how to cope without using cocaine. This leads to a cycle of addiction, as the individual begins to turn to cocaine when any tiny amount of stress shows up in their life. This process deepens both the addiction and the symptoms of anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Disorder From Cocaine Abuse
In some cases, anxiety develops because of the cocaine abuse. There are several reasons why cocaine-induced anxiety can occur:
- Cocaine is a stimulant. Stimulants speed up the neurotransmitters in the brain, which can cause feelings of anxiety.
- Anxiety can also occur during cocaine withdrawal. When coming down from stimulants, the brain’s neurotransmitters can drop dramatically. This leads to feelings of depression and anxiety as the brain is trying to normalize.
- Some side effects of cocaine use can evolve into anxiety. For example, insomnia is a common side effect of cocaine addiction, and not getting enough sleep can lead to even worse feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Physical stress on the body can lead to mental stress and, eventually, anxiety.
To make matters worse, this process of a deepening addiction puts people in situations that cause even more stress and adds to their anxiety. These include:
- Buying drugs on the street
- Having trouble keeping a job
- Doing things that their sober self would not do
- Difficulties with relationships
- Getting in trouble with the law
In order to effectively address dual diagnosis, an individual may need to have concurrent treatment for both their mental health disorder and their substance use disorder. This could include psychotherapy, medication for mental health issues, and addiction treatment therapy.
Does Cocaine Cause Anxiety?
Cocaine changes the way your brain works. The communication systems work faster, and these disruptions can cause feelings of anxiety. Likewise, when you come down from the high, your mind will struggle to find equilibrium which may leave you feeling sluggish, anxious, and depressed. This is where cocaine-induced anxiety disorders come into the mix.
Those suffering from cocaine-induced anxiety disorder might experience the following:
- Panic attacks consisting of increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, shaking, and sweating
- Unshakable thoughts or emotions that cause discomfort
- Compulsive behavior—typically repeating the same unnecessary tasks in a loop
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is vital to seek professional help.
Treating Cocaine and Anxiety at Footprints Beachside Recovery
Both issues need to be treated simultaneously in a dual diagnosis treatment facility. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we realize every addiction is different. We work with each client to develop an individualized treatment plan to meet their needs. We specialize in treating those with co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and cocaine addiction. Contact us today to take the first step to regaining control of your life.