Drugs and Mental Disorders
Mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances in brain. There is no denying the fact that many mental illnesses have genetic roots. Living in a stressful environment and emotional turmoil may also cause mental diseases. Apart from this, drug and alcohol abuse is one of the most significant factors that may cause serious mental illnesses. The consumption of illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse can alter the way the brain functions. This may lead to dependence and serious mental illnesses. Let’s take a look at some of the drugs and how they affect the human brain.
Heroin and Cocaine
Heroin and Cocaine are two of the most popular illegal drugs consumed by countless drug addicts all over the world. They may provide a temporary feeling of euphoria and well-being. But in the long run, they can lead to serious mental disorders. These drugs make the brain immune to their effects and as a result, people require more quantity to get the same ‘high’. Moreover, the feeling of ‘relaxation’ induced by these drugs can shut off brain functions and the addict may enter a state of coma. Cocaine and Heroin also cause depression, sadness and insomnia among drug addicts. They may permanently alter the way the brain functions making it difficult for the patient to overcome the addiction.
Alcohol is easily one of the most commonly abused substances. Besides causing physical illnesses such as liver damage, weight gain, high blood pressure and respiratory diseases, alcohol negatively affects the mental health of a person. Alcohol can severely impair judgment of a person. It slows down reflexes and people take more time to react.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, alcohol is one of the major causes of depression and anxiety amongst people. It also causes mood disorders, hallucinations and psychotic disorders. Suicidal thoughts have also been noticed among heavy drinkers.
When people talk of drug addiction, they mainly focus on illegal and recreational drugs. However, it is important to understand that prescriptive drug abuse is also quite common among people. There are many useful drugs prescribed by physicians to depression and anxiety patients. It is important to take anti-anxiety drugs under medical supervision so that people don’t become dependent and addicted to these drugs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. These drugs also have the potential to alter the functioning of the brain. The brain becomes addicted and the patient may experience serious withdrawal symptoms such as panic attacks and depression. Often, the symptoms of the disease return full force once the medication is stopped.
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