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HIV+, Depression, Cocaine
Feb 11, 2007

I have been HIV+ for five years. I have developed severe depression for about the same time. Anti-depressants do not seem to work, as I want them to. I have taken up cocaine and it not only does it give me energy but it makes me fully functional and eliminates my fatigue. Does using cocaine interfere with the antidepressants or enhance them? My psychiatrist is aware of my usage and only tells me to stop. Also, how does this affect my HIV? My counts have remained the same. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Cocaine is not a treatment for depression. It is a temporary high, but its long term effects will make you worse. Repeated cocaine use can actually cause depression and other ill effects, such as strokes and heart attacks. I agree with your psychiatrist that you need to stop. If you need treatment to stop, then so be it. But continuing with the cocaine will further jeopardize your health.



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