How do drugs affect your mental health?

How do drugs affect your mental health

When it comes to mental health, each person is unique. What one person may be able to cope with mentally may destroy another person. Similarly, each individual will have a different relationship with substance abuse and addiction. Addiction and mental health are complex challenges on their own; when an individual is suffering from both, professional medical help is always required.

Your brain and addiction

Many individuals have long-lasting effects on their emotional state, behavior, and thought patterns even after beating their addiction. This is due to the impacts addict has on the brain; for example, alcohol is a well-known depressant that will cause significant disruptions to the chemical balance of the brain, severely affecting an individual:

  • Thoughts 
  • Feelings
  • Actions 
  • Mental health (long term)

The chemicals inside illicit substances such as opioids, sedatives, alcohol, or stimulants enter our bloodstream immediately after taking them. The blood now laced with hazardous chemicals will flow to the brain resulting in the individual losing control of their impulses and beginning acting out or start craving the illicit substance more. Once an individual starts craving the illegal substance, they will more often than not do anything in their power to get what they want. Once this horrible cycle begins, the individual’s mental health will start plummeting as their world slowly revolves around their substance abuse. 

Drugs and stress

More often than not, individuals will begin drinking alcohol are using illicit substances to deal with the stress that life can on occasions cause. While there is nothing wrong with having the occasional glass of wine or smoking some weed, it is a precarious line to be on. While individuals will feel relaxed for some time, once the effects of the substances wear off, all of the problems and issues of life come running back, which results in an individual using more substances to numb out life when it becomes problematic. Before you know it, you have become dependent on these substances to deal with everyday life; individuals will now be stuck in a vicious cycle of becoming stressed, abusing substances to feel some relief, the effect wearing off, so the individual takes a higher or more frequent dosage. Individuals will often become more stressed each time the results of the substances wear off. 

What is a dual diagnosis?

If you suffer from severe mental health issues and substance abuse, you may be diagnosed with a ‘dual diagnosis,’ which ultimately means that your mental health led you down the path of abusing drugs, or your drug abuse caused you to begin having mental health issues. 

In most cases, when getting treated for a dual diagnosis, your mental health challenges will be tackled as a priority over your substance abuse. Individuals will more than likely not mentally be able to join the road to recovery if their mental health is struggling. Recovering from substance abuse is a challenging journey, with individuals needing maximum support from loved ones and friends. 

What can you do? 

Drugs can severely affect your mental health; if you have noticed that either yourself or a loved one has begun to depend on drugs to deal with life, we would advise you to seek immediate medical help to have a full assessment to determine the stage of the addiction.

Mental health and substance abuse are treatable, but you can not treat them alone. You will need professional help and support to overcome these diseases, contact our rehab in California today to get the help you need.. The longer you live with substance abuse or mental health issues, the harder it is to treat due to the severity of the situation.

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