Possible correlations between cocaine use, generalized anxiety and panic disorders in adolescents and young adults: a review of the literature



  • Ioanna Papatheofani MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, 2nd Department of Pediatrics, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Evangelia Kollia MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, 2nd Department of Pediatrics, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Eleni Panagouli MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, 2nd Department of Pediatrics, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Theodora Psaltopoulou Department of Clinical Therapeutics, “Alexandra” Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Marina Oikonomou-Lalioti 1st Department of Psychiatry, Eginition Hospital, Medical School National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
  • Theodoros Sergentanis Department of Clinical Therapeutics, “Alexandra” Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Artemis Tsitsika MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, 2nd Department of Pediatrics, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Panic disorder; generalized anxiety disorder; cocaine use; substance use; adolescents


BACKGROUND: Substance use disorders have been associated with a vast range of harmful behaviors. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the possible correlations between anxiety disorders, especially generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), panic attacks and cocaine use among adolescents and young adults.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted to evaluate pertinent studies up to July 06, 2020 in Google Scholar, PubMed, Embase and PsycInfo databases.

RESULTS: A total of 20 articles were considered eligible; most studies reported that young people who experienced PD, panic attacks or GAD were more likely to have been cocaine users, with the risk being higher when individuals were addicted.

CONCLUSIONS: The association between cocaine use, PD and GAD, poses significant challenges to health providers of adolescents and young adults, as comorbidity complicates the treatment, prognosis and course of the disorders.  


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