Co-occurring disorders are not uncommon among those that have struggled with addiction. Often, individuals use drugs or alcohol to cope with symptoms of a co-occurring mental health disorder. However, extended use of illicit substances can worsen symptoms rather than alleviate them. One such example of this is the effects of cocaine on anxiety. This popular drug can be used to cope with anxiety symptoms, but over time it can worsen them and cause the person to use more, leading to more long-term side effects.

Self Medicating with Cocaine

While numerous medications can be used to treat anxiety, many individuals do not have access to them due to financial constraints, environmental constraints, and other personal obstacles. For this reason, it is not uncommon for individuals to use illicit substances such as cocaine to self-medicate for symptoms of anxiety. At first, cocaine can provide calming effects despite it being a stimulant. This is because the drug can help a person feel more comfortable in social situations. However, if a person uses cocaine to self-medicate for an extended time, it can cause anxiety symptoms to worsen. This can cause a person to need more of the drug to feel the calming effects, which can eventually lead to addiction.

The Relationship Between Cocaine and Anxiety

Cocaine is a known stimulant that can cause a variety of symptoms that mimic those of anxiety. These can include aggression, racing heartbeat, paranoia, and intrusive thoughts. This is a result of specific neurotransmitters in the brain being affected by cocaine. Cocaine is often used by individuals struggling with anxiety because it makes them feel more confident and helps them to forget their anxiety symptoms. However, individuals will need to use more of the drug to feel the same effects due to a tolerance being built up. This can lead to addiction, meaning that when they stop using the drug, withdrawal symptoms will set in that can make anxiety symptoms worse. It is never a good idea to self-medicate with cocaine, especially for anxiety. Treatment should be sought to help heal the physical and psychological damage done by the drug.


Cocaine can have adverse effects on those that struggle with anxiety or a generalized anxiety disorder. For this reason, it is never a good idea to use cocaine as a coping mechanism. Luckily, there is hope for those that struggle with cocaine addiction and anxiety symptoms. At treatment facilities such as Alta Loma Transformational Services, young men can find healing for their addiction and co-occurring disorders. The staff is expertly trained to help you overcome your most challenging obstacles and find a life of sobriety and full of happiness. Call us today at (866) 457-3843 to start your journey to recovery.