The Repercussions of Drugs and Alcohol on the Mind
A famous series of television commercials told viewers “This is your brain on drugs.” The effects of alcohol and other substances on the minds of users are profound, especially after consistent use. Not all drugs impact people the same way, but when one’s brain adapts to certain sensations caused by substances, it can be very difficult to shake them off.
The mental repercussions of alcohol abuse are numerous. Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down users and their stimulation levels. In the short term, drinking alcohol can cause lapses in one’s judgment and ability to think coherently. Through repeated abuse, it can be difficult for users to fill in gaps of their memory, as alcohol can negatively affect memory retention. Another result of repeated alcohol abuse is the development of a dependence on alcohol as a way to escape reality. According to this center for alcohol treatment in Orange County, using alcohol to avoid negative emotions is a clear sign someone needs help. This is because it creates a vicious cycle wherein an ever-increasing amount of alcohol is required to achieve the desired effect, which will ultimately destroy the liver and cause other major health issues.
Marijuana can make users feel euphoric and generally at ease. However, others find it causes them to feel them feel paranoid and anxious. Depending on how much THC is present in a particular strain of marijuana, users can find themselves feeling far more restless than they anticipated. This can be increased by consuming through edibles, such as brownies. For people who are already dealing with mental ailments, such as depression and anxiety, marijuana can exacerbate their negative feelings and thoughts.
It is definitely worth knowing how cocaine affects the brain. The primary reason people use cocaine is how it makes them feel mentally. Through using cocaine, their brains bring in more dopamine, a well-known chemical for feeling good. However, once the brain had adapted to receiving dopamine via cocaine, it can have an incredible amount of difficulty receiving it through any other means. So, it will crave cocaine in larger doses in order for users to feel normal. Given the risk of overdose death with cocaine usage, this is a very dangerous substance to become addicted to.
Methamphetamine usage causes users to become particularly wired in ways that are very addictive. When meth is consumed, through methods such as smoking, snorting, or injection, users can feel like they are on top of the world. Their confidence can skyrocket, but it can then come crashing down. In the time following a meth binge, users can feel incredibly paranoid and unwell. Difficulties with sleeping and eating are common. Similar to cocaine, meth can greatly inhibit users’ abilities to receive dopamine in other, more natural ways.
Opioid addiction is an extremely serious matter, as the mental effects of substances like heroin can be incredibly difficult to shake. Heroin is both physically and mentally addictive. When users take it in, they feel better all around, with no feelings of pain inside or outside of them. However, the bliss caused by a high cannot last. When going through withdrawals, users can feel desperate for their next fix. How one’s brain functions can be permanently changed by heroin and other opioids. The white and gray matter of one’s brain, which is essential for activities that are easily taken for granted, such as being able to speak and move normally, risk irreversible change as a result of heroin usage.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Don’t make the mistake of letting drugs or alcohol waste away your mind. There’s too much at stake.