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how does cocaine affect mental health

How Does Cocaine Affect Mental Health?

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that can quickly lead to addiction. Depending on the frequency of use and severity of the addiction, it can have moderate to extremely severe effects on the body. However, it can also have a profound effect on your mental health.

Just like physical risks and symptoms, the specific effects can vary from person to person. However, it’s easy for it to get to the point of real struggle where treatment is often necessary for full recovery. In addition, developing an addiction can make existing mental health issues even worse.

The good news is that there is much that can be done to help ease and reverse the effects of cocaine on both the mind and body. Read on to learn more about cocaine addiction and the effects it may have on your mental health.

Early Stages of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a strong and potent stimulant drug that directly affects the brain. Its short-term effects are often enjoyed by the user and this is why many keep coming back to it. It produces a pleasurable “high” that feels good in many ways while providing an escape. Some use it for “fun” while others turn to drugs like this to avoid various issues in their lives.

Some common short-term effects of cocaine include:

  • Increased energy and focus
  • Improved alertness
  • A feeling of being “high” including happiness and euphoria

While these are the things many enjoy, several other things also occur:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Heightened temperature
  • Dilated pupils
  • Constricted blood vessels

Many of these effects, both good and bad, disappear within minutes or hours of use. This is why many turn to the substance often, so they can maintain the positive feelings they’re after. Unfortunately, repeated use leads to dependency.

This is when the body becomes so accustomed to the substance that it begins to crave and desire it. This process also builds up tolerance, meaning you’ll need to use more and more of the substance to achieve the same results. Eventually, this leads to addiction – something that becomes harder and harder to quit and overcome by yourself.

While the short-term so-called “positive” effects such as energy and alertness are what’s most desired, frequent and consistent use has an extremely negative effect on the mind, body, and even your overall life.

Cocaine and its Affects on Mental Health

The use of cocaine will have many different effects on your mental state and overall mental health – some lasting longer than others.

Short-Term Mental Health Effects

For example, some effects and feelings will appear immediately upon taking cocaine; These effects include things like:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Stunted emotions

Feeling anxious, paranoid, angry, and more during a “high” is not only unpleasant and even scary but can also cause unexpected behaviour. For example, you may mistreat those around you, say things you regret, feel things you wouldn’t otherwise feel, and react to things that aren’t there.

These things can be anywhere from mild to severe and this depends on dosage as well as the reaction of the individual to the substance.

short-term mental health effects

Long-Term Mental Health Effects

While the short-term effects on the mind may wear off as the immediate effects of the high fade, some things linger much longer. As you use cocaine repeatedly, it alters your brain, aging it prematurely.

It’s been found that cocaine usage can cause a loss of grey matter in the brain. Everyone loses grey matter over time, but cocaine use can speed it up significantly. Over time, you may experience the signs of aging sooner than you otherwise would – such as loss of memory, cognitive function, etc.

Long-term use of cocaine has also been associated with conditions such as bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers, and schizophrenia. These things come with many struggles of their own and will greatly impact your daily life.

Other lasting and long-term effects can include:

  • Depression
  • Prolonged anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Lowered intellectual functioning
  • Constant feelings of anger, irritability, mood swings, etc

When feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, and more persist for a long time, it affects your life and even the lives of those around you. Additional side effects of long-term mental health issues include:

  • Lost or strained friendships and relationships
  • Poor performance at work and/or school
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, activities, passions, and interests
  • Feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem
  • Financial difficulty
  • And more

When these things start happening, they only serve to worsen conditions like depression and anxiety, sometimes leading to more frequent use of cocaine. Thus, a difficult cycle develops which is increasingly hard to escape from without help. The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options.

Treating Cocaine Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Whether your mental health conditions were caused by cocaine affects, or just made worse by it, there is help available. It’s common for addiction and mental health to go hand-in-hand and require simultaneous treatment.

This is why we offer a comprehensive rehab program here at Lily Recovery where our therapists and counselors are trained and qualified to treat co-occurring disorders. This is done through multiple forms of therapy conducted over several sessions each week.

Our facility offers an inpatient treatment program, meaning you’ll stay here for the duration of your treatment. This has many benefits:

  • Calm, quiet, private environment
  • Female-only patients and staff
  • 24/7 care and monitoring
  • Safer detoxing
  • Access to medication and care as needed
  • Private, group, and holistic therapy each week
  • No access to substances
  • And more

treating cocaine addiction and mental health disorders

Overcome Addiction at Lily Recovery

Our cocaine rehab for women is carefully designed and curated by women, for women. We aim to make you feel as safe and comfortable as possible during this trying and vulnerable time. We specialize in addressing mental health along with addiction, and we’re committed to your healing.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time with questions, or concerns, or to get more information. We offer a self-referral process which means you don’t need a special recommendation to attend our program – you can simply check yourself in.