The effects of drug abuse on the body are many and varied. These effects are both physical and psychological. Often there is an underlying mental health condition that has not yet been diagnosed that can be linked to drug abuse.
Although using harmful substances may appear to alleviate symptoms in the short term, one of the effects of drug abuse is making emotional health worse. Also, abusing drugs can actually cause certain mental health disorders. This is especially true if an individual has certain hereditary or environmental risk factors that could lead to mental illness. The use of drugs can push these individuals into a mental illness.
Effects of Drug Abuse: The Impact
Overall Effects of Drug Abuse
When an individual abuses drugs over a long period of time, the brain actually changes the way it functions. This is because the drugs have taken the place of naturally occurring chemicals in the body that affect brain functions, including emotions. Drugs attach themselves to certain receptors that work in the brain to regulate mood.
Normally these receptors are attached with certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which work in the brain to raise mood and make a person feel good. That can explain the general feeling of euphoria shortly after taking a drug, as that substance works in a similar manner on receptors as the naturally occurring chemicals.
Effects of Drug Abuse on Mental Illness
Approximately half of all people with mental illness abuse drugs. Those who suffer from mental illness have an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, which is why they may turn to drugs as a form of self-medication. Once drug use begins, the body stops producing certain chemicals, as the drugs fool it into believing that enough are already present in the body.
When the drug is stopped, the individual’s mental illness symptoms are usually worse than before, as the chemicals are even more out of balance than before the abuse of drugs. Alternatively, a new chemical balance could be the result, leading to mental illness where none had previously existed.
Drug Abuse and Emotional Health
When quitting drug use, many withdrawal systems mimic mental illness symptoms. This makes it hard for those who suffer from dual diagnosis to quit, and the effects of drug abuse can be seen very clearly. Dual diagnosis is when a substance abuse issue presents itself concurrently with a mental health issue; this can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. Professional treatment by a provider who is familiar with treating dual diagnosis could be effective, as they will likely be able to treat both disorders at the same time.
If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of drug abuse, substance addiction or any other type of addiction, please call us today. Our addiction treatment counselors can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.
Substance abuse treatment is effective, safe and has helped many men reclaim their lives. Destination Hope is a full-service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for men suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues.