How Substance Abuse Can Affect Your Brain
People use drugs and alcohol for different reasons. Some rely on drugs to escape from reality and live in a state of euphoria, while others take drugs due to peer pressure. Regardless of why or when you consume drugs, there is no changing that these mind-altering substances are harmful.
Drugs can rewire your brain into hallucination and other psychotic behavior. You might see or hear things others don’t. This chronic mental condition can affect how you socialize with others. In this blog post, we will explain how drugs affect your mental health.
How Drugs Affect Your Mental Health
All drugs harm your mental health. They affect the way you see things and your mood. However, it’s difficult to predict how a certain drug will affect your mind because they stimulate different experiences under different circumstances.
Drugs can alter your brain’s chemistry once ingested. They slow down or speed up your nervous system causing high blood pressure and respiratory depression. Here is how drugs can affect your mind.
Effects of Illicit Drugs on Your Brain
Illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and prescription amphetamines like Adderall can have a different effect on your brain chemicals. Some drugs accelerate hormonal secretion like dopamine to put you in a state of euphoria.
An increase in dopamine secretion can cause a rush of pleasure. A high dosage of drugs like cocaine and heroin can lead to heart attack, stroke, or slowed cognitive abilities. You start forgetting things and soon become substance dependent.
Accelerated secretion of hormones makes you feel stronger and more confident. You start achieving more than what you could without drugs. However, once the euphoria is over, your mind is exhausted. Soon, your mental activity slows down because your brain is rewired to work on drugs.
This leads to substance abuse disorder, where the patient is unable to function normally without drugs. Increased consumption of drugs to maintain regular activities leads to further damage. The patient is trapped in a spiral where consuming drugs leads to mental issues. Not consuming triggers panic attacks and urges.
Such patients often don’t seek help because they are ashamed of admitting their failure. However, if they are admitted into a drug rehabilitation center, they might have a chance to recover fully. Here is a breakdown of how drugs affect different parts of your brain.
The Limbic System
The limbic system is responsible for the brain’s reward system. It is responsible for making us feel pleasure when we indulge in positive activities. Our brain keeps track of things that make us happy. For instance, going to the gym, socializing, and having sex trigger the brain’s limbic system.
However, substance abuse forces the brain’s limbic system to release pleasure hormones. Regular or continuous consumption of illicit drugs can rewire the brain into thinking that drugs are the only source of happiness. Soon, you won’t find pleasure in anything but consuming drugs.
The Cerebral Cortex
The cerebral cortex interprets information from touch, smell, taste, sound, and sight. Drugs influence the cerebral cortex into releasing positive hormones that reinforce your habit of drug abuse. The cerebral cortex gets rewired through continuous consumption, and after some time, you can’t keep yourself away from substance abuse.
Patients recovering from substance abuse in an Intensive Outpatient Program often jitter because their cerebral cortex demands drugs. It can become challenging to quit drugs if you don’t seek medical assistance soon.
The Brain Stem
The brain stem is responsible for keeping up most of our autonomous functions like breathing and keeping our heart beating. Drugs like cocaine influence the brain stem to accelerate your heartbeat. It can lead to cardiac arrest, heart attack, or heart failure.
Drug abuse and addiction is a choice that makes it a learned behavior. Some parts of our brain can be rewired to remember what makes us feel pleasure. Drugs influence all the mentioned parts of the brain simultaneously to put you in a state of euphoria. While it might seem fun to forget about worries, the long-term effects of drugs are like slow poison. You are killing yourself by damaging your brain and different parts of your body.
Seek Help From Sands Treatment Center Before It’s Too Late
Slowly but surely, drugs damage your brain and other parts of the body. The sooner you seek help, the easier will be your recovery process. Most addicts don’t seek help because they are ashamed to admit their failure. You need to help them register in IOP South Florida. Sands Treatment Center specializes in the addiction treatment and rehabilitation of medical professionals and first responders. You can call us by dialing (844) 200 2509 or visit our website for more information.