Destination Hope Blog » The Effects of Drug Abuse on Memory and Concentration

The Effects of Drug Abuse on Memory and Concentration

Drug abuse is a serious factor in memory loss and a lack of concentration, which can affect aspects of your life you may not have considered. Drugs can make it hard for you to study, improve your skills at work, learn and retain new concepts, and even pay attention to what’s happening around you. When you think about the activities that require your full attention – like driving – this side effect is certainly one to think about.

Drug Abuse and Memory Loss

Many people who suffer memory problems due to drug abuse aren’t even aware that they’ve been affected. The Partnership at Drugfree.org reports a British study that showed 75 percent of Ecstasy users have memory impairments, and that goes for both long- and short-term users. Overall, the statistics on the degree to which certain drugs affect memory is still unknown, but evidence suggests that it can be serious.

The Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study in 2010 that further explored the effects of drug abuse on memory loss. Specifically, it found that ecstasy can impact your ‘prospective memory’, the part of your brain that remembers that you need to remember something. This can leave many people with the feeling that you’ve forgotten to do something after drug abuse. This type of memory is linked to the brain’s ability to organize, plan, and do multiple things at the same time. These findings were also consistent in participants who use a mix of recreational drugs.

Drug Abuse and Concentration

Drug abuse among students has been an ongoing problem for many years, and is further perpetuated by the belief that certain drugs can actually increase your concentration. Some students take prescription drugs for certain mental disorders, such as ADHD, without a prescription. This can lead to a long-term dependency on the drug, and the effects of chronic drug abuse often lead to an inability to concentrate – exactly the opposite of the desired effect.

Another dangerous trend among students is the use of prescription painkillers, also taken without a prescription to obtain a high. Short-term effects of painkiller drug abuse include difficulty concentrating, which can lead to poor test results, not paying attention in class or on the job, and damaged relationships. Drug abuse is a serious condition that can be improved with treatment.

Treatment is designed for people of all ages, whether you are a student, in middle age, or even past retirement. Seeking treatment means that you’ll get support from trained professionals who can help you enter recovery from drug abuse, slowing the ongoing development of memory and concentration loss.

If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of alcohol 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.  A substance abuse treatment program 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.