The effects of drug abuse include many serious long-term consequences to your health. Drugs also have many effects on the brain, causing changes in brain chemistry, nerve functioning, and damage to brain cells and nerve cells. This can lead to loss of memory, decreased cognitive ability, and negative affects on learning processes.
Effects of Drug Abuse and Your IQ
When using drugs, the brain becomes flooded with dopamine, which causes an increase in pleasure, or euphoria. When brain cells are consistently exposed to excessive dopamine over time, they can become damaged or die. As the brain tries to compensate for excess dopamine levels from the effects of drug abuse, the way the brain functions through nerve signals changes.
Some drugs affect the brain by attaching themselves to certain receptors that affect how the brain sends, receives, and interprets signals. By attaching to these receptors, drugs prevent the body’s natural neurotransmitters from attaching to the receptors.
That means that these neurotransmitters can’t do their job: relaying signals in the brain to the body. Drugs disrupt the signals in the brain and cause the brain to stop producing neurotransmitters necessary for functioning.
The effects of drug abuse cause blood vessels to become constricted, reducing blood flow to all areas of the body. Over time, this can lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels, including those in the brain. When the tiniest blood vessels become constricted, blood can no longer reach certain areas of the brain. Over time these cells die off, leaving small gaps in the brain tissue.
Unfortunately the effects of drug abuse on intelligence are most visible in those areas responsible for memory, cognition, and learning. The ability to learn, to remember, and to use logical reasoning are all related to your intelligence level. When these areas of the brain become damaged, or brain tissue disappears due to drug use, intelligence levels suffer as a result.
Those who have used drugs for long periods of time often cannot remember new things, become easily confused, and are unable to make good decisions. This is all because intelligence has suffered from drug use.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies show that certain medications can repair some types of damaged brains cells, even if they were damaged by the effects of drug abuse. However, once brain cells die, they cannot be regenerated. Once the brain cells die, there is no going back. Drug abuse can have crippling, irreversible long-term effects to your intelligence capabilities.
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.