The mental health effects of cocaine use have been well-documented since it was discovered to be habit-forming during the Victorian era. In fact, the current understanding of addiction itself includes a component of mental health. Additionally, people who are dealing with underlying mental health conditions often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to try and relieve the symptoms that they are experiencing. Research into the long-term effects of cocaine also suggests that the drug can create mental health conditions where none had been present before. Those seeking cocaine addiction treatment in Boston should contact Greater Boston Addiction Centers at 877.920.6583 for more information.
Co-occurring Disorders: Mental Health and Cocaine Use
Mental health conditions are common. Millions of Americans are currently living with depression, anxiety, or some other mental health disorder. However, many people are either undiagnosed or inadequately treated for those conditions. People who live with mental health conditions that are not being properly addressed can often find themselves experiencing symptoms that are distressing and life-disrupting but with no support or way to relieve their suffering. Unfortunately, this can lead to drug or alcohol abuse. Since cocaine has a tendency to lift the mood and give energy, it can often become a drug of abuse for people with underlying mental health conditions.
Psychiatric Side Effects of Cocaine Use
In addition to being a common drug of abuse for people living with pre-existing mental health conditions, cocaine also has a number of psychiatric side effects that can occur. Even though some of these effects result from long-term use, some can occur due to cocaine intoxication, meaning that they can occur even when used only a single time. Some of these side effects are:
- Paranoid psychosis—Users lose touch with reality, becoming paranoid
- Hypervigilance—Users can be abnormally alert, much like a person with post-traumatic stress disorder might be
- Violent behavior, anger, or irritable outbursts
- Impaired judgment
Issues Related to the Long-Term Use of Cocaine
Since cocaine operates in the body by co-opting the brain’s natural pleasure/reward system, over time, that system can be damaged by cocaine use. People who stop using cocaine can experience a condition called anhedonia or an impaired ability to feel pleasure. Also, using cocaine over a long period increases a person’s risk of developing a mental health condition even if they did not previously have a history of mental health problems.
How Can Treatment for Cocaine Addiction Help?
Even though the mental health impact of cocaine use can be significant, with the right treatment and support, recovery is possible. Even for those who are strongly motivated and ready to stop using cocaine, it can be difficult to do so without help. Studies show that people who receive treatment for substance abuse have much better chances of maintaining their recovery over time than those who quit on their own. Clients at cocaine addiction treatment centers receive support from medical and therapeutic staff, as well as access to peer groups that can help them reimagine their life without drugs.
Greater Boston Recovery Centers Can Help With Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
At our treatment centers, clients work with our highly trained staff of clinicians to chart a recovery course that will work best for their needs. Every person is different, and we offer a variety of programs to help our clients with whatever struggles they may have. If you or someone you care about has been battling an addiction to cocaine, reach out to us today at 877.920.6583 or via our online form.