Drugs, Psychological Conditions, and Drug Abuse Rehabs
The psychological effects of drug abuse can vary depending on the type, quantity and longevity of substance(s) used. On one hand, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as anxiety or confusion. Alternately, long-term drug users might suffer more significant repercussions from drug abuse such as hallucinations or schizophrenia and require more intense drug abuse rehab.
Furthermore, drug abuse can also have a significant effect on individuals who have a co-occurring mental disorder. In 2014, SAMHSA conducted a national survey which estimated 43.6 million Americans (ages 18 and over) had a form of mental illness, while 20.2 million reported having a substance abuse disorder. Additionally, of this combined group, 7.9 million people had both.
How severely do drugs affect psychological conditions?
The psychological effects of drug abuse manifest differently for each individual, based on the frequency of usage and the type of drug being used. However, the following list demonstrates general effects that can occur:
- Methamphetamine damages the brain’s dopamine system resulting in problems with motor control and can cause learning impairment and emotional, memory and/or cognitive issues.
- Cocaine overuse can lead to erratic and violent behavior, and an individual may exhibit signs of irritability, panic, anxiety, depression and paranoia. Also, in some cases, cocaine addicts may experience “cocaine psychosis” in which they become detached from people, activities, and, in some instances, reality.
- MDMA decreases serotonin, allowing confusion and depression to occur along with impaired cognition, emotion and motor function, and disruption to the working memory and attention processes.
- Marijuana interferes with messages to the brain that affect perception, vision, hearing coordination and emotions. Also, it can negatively impact short-term memory functions. So, individuals who abuse marijuana will often experience difficulty in engaging in tasks that require concentration and can develop an increased psychological dependence.
- Opioids can produce feelings of restlessness and insomnia. Additionally, long-term psychological effects can result from hypoxia, a related condition that reduces oxygen flow to the brain, which can cause permanent brain damage or even result in a coma.
- Ketamine users can develop a strong dependence, often resulting in binge usage. Negative psychological impacts can include amnesia, hallucinations, disorientation, unpredictable behavior and loss of awareness of reality.
- Hallucinogens, such as LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, Ayahuasca, can produce auditory, visual and sensory hallucinations. These cause users to hear, see and feel things that aren’t there. Continued abuse of hallucinogens may result in permanent psychosis. Also called HPPD (Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder), this causes the individual to experience flashbacks.
Treatment Options For Psychological Effects Of Drug Abuse
Thankfully, there are drug abuse rehabs that can treat and sometimes even reverse the psychological effects of drug abuse. At Recovery Centers of America, our residential treatment programs are equipped to address a full continuum of challenges. This includes all challenges related to addiction and substance abuse, including psychological issues. We are proud to provide:
- Initial assessment of medical and physiological condition
- Detoxification in a safe and monitored environment
- Safely administered medication to treat withdrawal symptoms
- Individual and group therapy
- Relapse prevention and intervention
- Psychiatric services
- Psychological services
Call 1-800-RECOVERY for more information.