Mental Health

How Do Drugs And Alcohol Affect Mental Health?

10 Mar, 2022 posted by Laudee

Alcohol and drugs alter the way your brain and body function. Since drugs and alcohol alter the balance of chemicals in your brain that help you think, feel, create, and make decisions, they will have an impact on your mental health.

The effect of drugs or alcohol can change the way you see things, your emotions, and your behavior to a greater or lesser level.

When things are challenging in life, it might be tempting to use drugs or alcohol as an escape or coping technique; nevertheless, these are addictive substances that can create depression and/or anxiety symptoms or worsen an existing problem.

Mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia frequently overlap due to addiction.

If you know someone undergoing such a crisis, take them to the addiction treatment center in Orange County. This drug rehab is skilled in dual diagnosis, bringing the addiction patients back on track soon.


According to the Mental Health Foundation, 16.6% of adults in the U.S. drink to dangerous amounts, and 1.2 percent drink to levels that indicate probable alcohol dependence.

In England, 3.1% of adults show signs of drug addiction, with males (4.3%) being more likely than women to be addicted to illegal narcotics (1.9% ).

Adults with drug addiction are twice as likely to use psychological therapy as the general population, and half of those with drug addiction receive mental health treatment.

According to UK government figures, an estimated 589,000 persons in England are addicted to alcohol. Around a quarter of them seek mental health treatment, primarily for anxiety and depression and sleep disorders, psychosis, and bipolar disorder.

According to NHS figures, 7,545 people were admitted to hospitals with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioral disorders.

A recent poll conducted by the Priory Group in the U.S.A. shows one-third of people at risk of alcohol and drug use problems also seek mental health treatment. It also indicates those with more serious mental illnesses are more prone to smoke and abuse alcohol and other recreational drugs.

How Do Drugs Affect Your Brain?

The brain is the most complicated organ in the body.

It uses a communication system in which neurons carry messages back and forth between different structures in your brain and other parts of your body to govern and coordinate every single process in your body.

Drugs obstruct neurons’ standard transmission, reception, and processing of information. As a result, each type of medication affects a separate area of the brain that is affected by every kind of medication.

Even if you have a brief rush of pleasure, the adverse effects can be long-lasting.

Impaired learning and cognitive function, memory loss, and a lack of self-control are just a few of the side effects.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Brain?

Alcohol, like narcotics, affects the communication mechanism in your brain.

While alcohol may make you feel energized, euphoric, and inhibited at first, it actually operates as a nervous system depressant, as evidenced by your inability to coordinate your actions and talk fluently after a few drinks.

Long-term repercussions of alcohol misuse include cognitive impairment, liver damage, cancer, psychosis, memory loss, anxiety, and depression, to name a few.

How Do Substances Affect Your Memory?

When you drink too much, you may have problems recalling certain aspects of the night the next day. People may even tell you what you said or did, but you have no recollection of it.

These “blackouts,” as they’re known, are a sign that you’ve had too much to drink.

While having one doesn’t always imply your memory cells have been harmed, regular heavy drinking might permanently damage your memory cells.

Relationship Between Substances And Anxiety And Depression

There is a clear link between substance abuse and these mental diseases, which implies that while substance abuse can cause anxiety and depression, anxiety and depression can also contribute to drug and alcohol addiction.

Depression is a mental disease that produces severe sadness and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.

If not treated, it might cause problems in your personal life, relationships, career, or education.

Anxiety is characterized by persistent, intense, and overwhelming concern and terror about ordinary circumstances.

To cope with the daily stress in our lives, we frequently turn to alcohol and drugs in some cases.

While there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine after a long day, using alcohol or drugs to deal with stress regularly can be harmful.

Even if you feel relaxed for a few hours after using a substance, after the impact wears off, you’re back to dealing with the same stress, which might lead to you using again, establishing a vicious cycle.

Which Substances Can Affect Your Mental Health?

1: Cannabis: In England, cannabis is one of the most regularly used drugs.

Some individuals use cannabis because it relaxes or makes them joyful, but it can also make them uncomfortable or paranoid. In addition, some people may have paranormal experiences.

This is a symptom of psychosis brought on by drugs.

2: Alcohol: Alcohol abuse is a concern for some people with mental illnesses. Since alcohol is legal, it is easy to obtain. It can exacerbate the symptoms of several mental health conditions.

You risk severe bodily and emotional harm if you consume too much alcohol regularly.

Drinking can cause you to do things you would never do otherwise. Self-harm and suicide are examples of this. Alcohol use at extremely high levels can lead to psychosis.

3: Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are sometimes prescribed by doctors to help alleviate anxiety.

However, because of its calming properties, some people purchase them illegally. Since they can be addictive, doctors only prescribe them for a limited time.

These medicines can make you feel calmer in the short term. But, on the other hand, they may make you feel confused or exhausted, depending on the type you take.

4: Amphetamine And Methamphetamine: Amphetamine and methamphetamine can make you feel euphoric and alert in the short term.

It may be difficult for you to relax or sleep due to this. In addition, you could get drug-induced psychosis as a result.

Amphetamines can make you worried and unhappy in the long run.

5: Cocaine: Cocaine might make you feel alert, talkative, and confident in the short term. After these effects wear off, you may feel tired and melancholy.

Cocaine is also addictive, and you’re more likely to develop sadness, paranoia, or anxiety over time if you use it.

Cocaine has been linked to convulsions, heart attacks, and strokes.

6: Heroin: Heroin might make you feel relaxed and cheerful in the short term.

It relieves pain and may make you tired. It has the potential to have catastrophic long-term consequences.

This could make it more challenging to hold a job and impact your relationships.

Get Treated Right Now!!!

Since drugs and alcohol can take such a toll on your mental health, you must get a dual diagnosis right now.

The faster you get the treatment, the better your chances of recovery are.

For more information, you can ping us in the comment section below.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash