How Drugs Affect Mental Health

If you are wondering how drugs affect your mental health, you are not alone. Drugs can have a major impact on your ability to realize your innate potential and do well in life. Learn why taking drugs can have a negative impact on your ability to function well mentally and put you at risk of all kinds of mental health problems.

Drugs can have a major impact on your ability to realize your innate potential and do well in life.

Why do people take drugs?

There are a great many reasons why people might choose to take drugs. Some people take drugs because they live in a community where drug use is common. They see their friends using these substances so they use them as well.

Other people take drugs in part because it is acceptable in their circle and in part because they like the effects of taking drugs. Taking drugs makes them feel good. It also helps them focus on their work and enjoy their time off.

If you use drugs, it’s important to understand why you make this choice. Becoming aware of your choices in life allows you to gain a sense of perspective and understand your own motivations.

Becoming aware of your choices in life allows you to gain a sense of perspective and understand your own motivations.

Recreational Drug Use & Mental Health

Many drug users use drugs on what is known as a recreational basis. This means they use drugs only occasionally rather than on a daily basis. While that may appear to be a harmless activity, recreational drug use can have a deeply negative impact on your mental health both in the short term and over a longer period of time.

Mental Health Statistics Of Drug Use

50% of people who have a severe mental disorder of some kind also report having a problem with substance abuse.

37% of alcohol abusers report having at least one serious mental health issue.

53% of all drug abusers also report they have at least one serious mental illness.

53% of all drug abusers also report they have at least one serious mental illness.

29% of all people with a formal diagnosis of mental illness admit they have tried some type of drugs or have used alcohol to the point of abuse in the last year.

Effects By Drug Type:

Cannabis

1 in 13 people between the ages of 16 and 59 have used cannabis in any given year.

Over time, the use of cannabis can result in many negative health effects. Users may report feeling paranoid and delusional. They may also experience hallucinations and mood changes. Memory loss is common. So is lower motivation and disruptions in your sleeping habits. Cannabis use may trigger certain types of mental health issues such as paranoia in people who suffer a genetic predisposition to these conditions.

Alcohol

Alcohol use affects the area of your brain that is charge of your inhibition impulses. If you use alcohol, you may initially feel relaxed and less anxious. You may find you have more confidence and you can deal with social situations more easily. These are temporary effects. Alcohol leads to chemical changes in the brain.

Over time, you might feel more negative feelings even after a few drinks. Excessive alcohol use can lead to feelings of uncontrollable anger. People who use alcohol are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a very dangerous substance. Keep in mind that taking it once even in small doses can lead to mental health issues. Even a single use is likely to trigger certain negative effects. Users are more at risk for all kinds of psychiatric illnesses. They are also more at risk from side effects such as depression, flashes of anger, anxiety and panic.

Amphetamines

People who routinely use amphetamines may be at risk of amphetamine psychosis. Symptoms of this condition can include hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. People may also engage in many types of bizarre and even violent behavior. Symptoms may disappear in as little as a few days or take far longer to dissipate. Some people may need to be hospitalized in order to help them cope with this medical condition.

Benzodiazepines

Using Benzodiazepines can put users at risk of addiction to this substance both in the short term and over a much period of time. People can be at risk of memory problems and falling asleep when they would rather remain awake. Users may feel anxious and depressed. This can increase your risk of long health mental health and make it harder to recover from an existing mental illness.

Ecstasy

People who use ecstasy may feel irritable and anxious once the medication has worn off. This medication can impair your short term memory and make it harder to pay attention. It can also lead to problems concentrating and affect your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Heroin

Heroin can literally lead to changes in the brain’s chemistry. Users may initially feel a sense of euphoria when first taking the medication. However, this often wears off a short time later. The aftermath can include feelings of paranoia, anxiety and depression. Users may have rapid mood swings that change quickly from moment to moment.

LSD

LSD use changes how people see the world around them. users who take LSD on a routine basis may feel a sense of prolonged anxiety that can take time to go away. Some users may feel this way for years after they stop using it. Another problem that can be triggered by the use of LSD is that of depression. Users who have had at least one episode of depression in the past can find this substance triggers additional issues if they continue to use it. A user may also have an episode of psychosis. This can be a one time issue or it can continue to have an impact.

References

  1. https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/about-mental-illness/learn-more-about-conditions/drugs-alcohol-and-mental-health/
  2. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/substance-abuse-and-mental-health.htm
  3. https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/mental-health-substance-use-disorders
  4. https://pacifichealthsystems.com/blog/how-illicit-drugs-can-affect-your-mental-health/

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