The Link Between Cocaine Abuse and Mental Health Issues
If you are a cocaine user or you know someone who is, you may be wondering about the short and long term effects of consuming the drug.
It may come as no surprise to learn about the negative health implications of using cocaine. However, perhaps the mental health issues that can potentially arise out of cocaine abuse will surprise you.
Mental health conditions can range from mild to severe when using any kind of drug, but with cocaine, the results can be life altering.
Health Problems Associated with Cocaine Abuse
The physical risks are well known and include heart attacks, heart failure, strokes or an increased likelihood of engaging in violence or risky, dangerous behaviour.
The mental health symptoms of using cocaine include paranoia, panic attacks, irritability, restlessness, or even complete psychosis. This means that the cocaine user loses their grip on reality and can experience hallucinations. A user can find themselves in very vulnerable and dangerous scenarios because they’re unaware of their surroundings.
Cocaine use doesn’t just lead to short term effects or a ‘bad trip’, these mental health issues can lead to serious long term effects. Many cocaine users report that they feel depressed and some can experience permanent induced psychosis that needs specialised treatment.
When drug addiction has destabilised a user’s life, (for example through job loss or relationship breakdowns) they can experience lasting mental health problems that become very difficult to treat even years later.
Mental Health Hospital Admissions
According to NHS Digital, data shows that hospital admissions for mental health disorders related to cocaine use have almost tripled over the past decade.
This trend looks to be steadily rising, alongside the number of reported cocaine-related deaths.
This may make for scary reading but it’s important to know how serious repeated cocaine use can become. Many people start off as occasional users, doing it for a bit of fun. However, the control you believe you have over the situation is almost always false.
If you are a drink or drug user yourself, you may believe that none of the harmful side effects can, or will ever happen to you. That’s what everyone thinks until it happens. If this has happened to you, then it’s not too late to recover and get your life back on track.
Cocaine use is a slippery slope but there is an end in sight. Help is at hand from Step One Recovery.
What is the Link Between Cocaine Abuse and Mental Health?
Like any drug, ranging from caffeine to alcohol, all the way to the extremes of heroin, there are mind altering effects that anyone taking a drug will experience. With recreational drugs, the effects can be mild or temporary with infrequent use. However, given the addictive nature of drugs like cocaine and heroin, infrequent use can quickly turn into regular use. That’s where, before you know it, mental health problems start to arise.
As everyone is different, some people are more prone to serious mental health side effects than others.
Many people we help have underlying mental health issues that lead them down a path of substance abuse and addiction in the first place. This can very quickly develop into something new when addiction is there too, making the mental health condition worse as the substance abuse becomes more frequent or long term.
Effects of Cocaine on the Brain and the Impact on Your Mental Health
The main reason cocaine use affects mental health is because the drug sends high levels of dopamine into the part of your brain that controls pleasure. This is one of the effects that lead to energy boosts and a high.
Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter found in the brain that transfers chemical signals. However, an excessive amount of dopamine can cause negative symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, insomnia, mania, paranoia and stress.
High levels of dopamine are also commonly associated with several mental health conditions including schizophrenia.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean a user will suddenly develop schizophrenia if they start using cocaine. However, those who are already prone to mental illness may develop psychosis, depression or anxiety as a result of repeatedly taking cocaine.
Many people who are unaware of their own underlying mental illness also find that drug use brings the condition to light, albeit in a dangerous way.
We hope that these details have informed you of the dangers of cocaine and its long term mental health effects. The next step after recognising the problem is to start getting help to address it.
How to Get Help for Your Cocaine Abuse and Mental Health
The best possible way to get help for your cocaine addiction or any other drug and alcohol addiction is to get treated at a residential rehab centre. Professional addiction counsellors who are medically trained to treat the effects of drug abuse are your best chance of recovery and sustained sobriety.
Here at Step One Recovery, we offer rehabilitation clinics that ensure all your comforts are met. Our rehab clinics feature luxury accommodation and private rooms so that you can concentrate on your sobriety without worrying about any negative influences in the outside world.
What Does the Rehab Recovery Process Look Like?
We will first help you detox your body to flush out all the harmful toxins. This is a tough, but necessary stage and as such, means you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Our addiction counsellors are on hand to help you every step of the way.
Once a cocaine user starts to withdraw, they can start to feel depressed and experience mental health issues, particularly if they have been a heavy drug user in the past. This is something we will closely monitor and help you recover from. While it might feel like it’ll never end, it will end, and does so for all of our residents.
Once the detoxification process is over, we will start to look at the underlying mental health issues that may have led to drug misuse in the first place. We will also offer treatment programs for induced psychosis or other mental disorders that have surfaced as a result of your substance abuse.
Together, we will help you through your recovery journey with counselling and support groups, which give you a safe place to discuss your thoughts and feelings with others. Once you feel able to leave, our aftercare team will help you achieve long term sobriety by avoiding triggers and seeking help whenever you need to.
The first step is to get in touch. You can do so by filling in our online contact form to request a callback or get in touch directly via 07914 760631.