Psychological Effect Of Drug And Alcohol Abuse

Psychological Effect Of Drug And Alcohol Abuse

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The psychological effect of drug and alcohol abuse vary from one individual to the other. Depending on the quantity of such substance abused, the frequency of abuse and the length of time of abuse. While the psychological effect is more pronounced in users who have abused alcohol and drugs at a very large number of times. It is usually less pronounced in users who have not been as abusive. Chief among the psychological effects of alcohol and drug use are ‘tolerance’ and ‘addiction’.

Psychological Effect Of Drug And Alcohol Abuse – Tolerance

Tolerance refers to a condition where a user requires a continually increased dose of a drug or a larger amount of alcohol intake to produce the ‘ecstatic state’ experienced in previous drinking and drug abuse episodes. A major problem associated with this is when the dose of such drugs of abuse increases. The tendency of it being poisonous to the user increases.

Psychological Effect Of Drug And Alcohol Abuse – Addiction

Addiction refers to a condition where a user depends on abusing either alcohol or drugs for their well-being. Being deprived of alcohol or drugs could be equated to a death sentence for such individuals. Addicted individuals are said to be ‘hooked’ in their habit of drinking and drug misuse. Therefore they can feel nervous, anxious or sick without taking these substances.

Other psychological effects include: Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, loss of self esteem, hallucinations and schizophrenia amongst others.

How certain drugs affect you psychologically

  • Cocaine: Cocaine abuse can cause irritability, panic, depression, anxiety, paranoia or cocaine psychosis. A situation in which some users have a feeling of being detached from friends, families and reality
  • MDMA: Otherwise known as ecstasy. MDMA decreases serotonin levels, thereby bringing about confusion and depression alongside impaired cognition, emotional and motor dysfunction, disruption of the working memory and attention span.
  • Marijuana: Pot disrupts messages from the brain to visual receptors. Thereby impairing proper vision, hearing co-ordination and emotional soundness. It also negatively impacts the capacity of the short term memory. Marijuana users find it difficult to complete tasks that require concentration.
  • Opioids: Opiods can cause insomnia, restlessness, hypoxia (a long term psychological effect which can cause brain damage).
  • Ketamine: A strong dependence on this drug can cause binge usage. Undesirable psychological effects include: Amnesia, hallucinations, loss of touch with reality, disorientation, unpredictable behaviour, among others.
  • Hallucinogens: This group of drugs can cause a user to see and feel things which are not present physically, a condition referred to as ‘hallucination’. Drugs in this group include: Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), Psylocybin, Peyote and so on. A prolonged use of hallucinogens can result in a permanent state of psychosis, also referred to as Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which causes the user to experience flash backs.

Psychological Effect Of Drug And Alcohol AbuseIn conclusion, care should be sought for in adequate medical quarters to ensure that the psychological effects of drug and alcohol use is kept in check.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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