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Five Psychological Effects of Drug Addiction

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The brain and body function poorly when someone uses drugs or alcohol. Drugs will interrupt someone’s normal thought processes, feelings, creativity, and rational choices. The consequences of drug addiction are long-lasting. The physical effects subside quicker than the psychological impacts from drugs and alcohol, particularly for people who have been abusing them since adolescence or younger. Five devastating psychological disorders commonly occur with drug abuse.

Substance use can lead to changes in some of the same brain areas that are disrupted in other mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, mood, or impulse-control disorders. (NIMH)

Five Psychological Effects of Drug Addiction

The Psychological Signs of Drug Addiction

  1. Depression – The central nervous system is affected by drugs that act on it to slow it down to feel calm and relaxed. Alcohol is a CNS depressant that is explicitly used to unwind. Other drugs that also reduce the central nervous system’s reactions are responsible for flight or fight response, and stress hormones are opioids (heroin, fentanyl, prescription pain killers), benzodiazepines, and marijuana. All of these substances will, in time, negatively affect the delicate chemistry within the CNS and, as a result, cause depression and clinical diagnoses of depressive disorders.
  2. Anxiety Disorders – Anxiety is similar to depression in that it is related to the functioning of the central nervous system. The CNS controls our stress levels. Overactive responses in the CNS occur when people abuse stimulants. People will use cocaine, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana to feel more awake. Ongoing abuse of stimulants overloads the brain and other body functions and deregulates the average balance of stress hormones: this result causes anxiety disorders, panic, and fear responses.
  3. Paranoia – Drug-induced paranoia is, in fact, a medical condition that can lead to psychosis if left untreated. Many drugs cause a person to feel paranoid, most often stimulant drugs and marijuana. Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse researchers notes the long-term effects of methamphetamine that cause paranoia long after the drug use stops.  Methamphetamine users may display several psychotic features, including paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions. Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after a person has quit using methamphetamine, and stress precipitates spontaneous recurrence of methamphetamine psychosis in people who use methamphetamine and have previously experienced psychosis. (NIDA)
  4. Psychosis – A psychotic state is a mental health condition that causes a person to temporarily interpret the world differently from others around them, causing them to experience distress and anxiety. Psychosis caused by a drug is usually the result of too much of the drug, so the excessive toxicity of the drug may induce paranoia and a psychotic episode. There is also the possibility that someone can have a bad reaction when combining drugs or using someone else’s prescribed psychiatric medications. Psychosis also affects alcoholics. Alcohol damages the brain’s ability to regulate central nervous system neurotransmitters and alcoholics will develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including psychosis. The representative drugs that can cause psychosis are amphetamine, scopolamine, ketamine, phencyclidine (PCP), and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). (NIH)
  5. Schizophrenia – When someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia, they will have thoughts and feelings that appear out of touch with reality, disorganized speech or behavior, poor participation in daily routines, and lack of self-care. Amphetamines and cocaine often lead to psychosis, resembling symptoms of schizophrenia. Still, drugs that can cause this disorder include:
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription Stimulants
  • Marijuana
  • Other Hallucinogenic drugs

We Offer Same-day Admission to Evidence-Based Treatment Getting free from drug abuse and addiction can often reverse or reduce many problems, but some psychological and emotional issues won’t heal independently. The best way to prevent permanent damage is to seek professional drug addiction treatment that is evidence-based. Get in touch with us if you have questions about drugs or how they affect you. You can find a way out of the darkness of addiction with Evoke Wellness in Coconut Creek, Florida.