The idea of people using drugs to self-medicate symptoms of mental illness is not new. They may turn to drugs for euphoric feelings that offset feelings of depression or use alcohol to make themselves feel less anxious in social situations. However, drugs do more than worsen the side effects of mental illness. The changes caused to the chemistry of the brain could cause new mental disorders from drug use.
What Problems Could Drugs Cause?
A substance abuse disorder can persist alongside most mental illnesses. However, there are certain conditions more prone to developing from heavy drug use.
- Mood Disorders — Some people start developing conditions like depression or anxiety. They may have trouble focusing and processing new information. Others start struggling to remember things from the past or have the energy to get through the day.
- Sleep Disorders — Drug abuse often leads to problems like having trouble falling asleep or having trouble remaining asleep.
- Sexual Dysfunction — Individuals who abuse drugs may start having problems participating in any sexual activity.
- Anxiety — People always find themselves feeling restless and uneasy.
- Persisting amnestic disorder — Long-term drug users begin having trouble forming new memories or accessing older ones. That’s due to damage to the part of the brain controlling memory. The effect of the disorder can be mild to severe.
- Dementia — People with dementia experience more severe memory issues and have problems learning and paying attention to what’s going on around them. They may exhibit difficulty following simple instructions or handling transactions involving money.
- Psychosis — Individuals who have psychosis caused by drug use often appear jittery and exhibit unreasonable behavior. They may claim to hear voices or see people no one else can.
What Causes Mental Disorders From Drug Use?
How and why these disorders come about depend on different factors:
- The health of the person using drugs
- The amount of drugs taken by a person
- The substance being ingested, injected, or consumed
- The length of time of a person’s addiction
For that reason, it’s hard to come up with a concrete way of recognizing when the disorder will manifest and who will be affected. It all depends on a person’s brain chemistry and the effects produced by the substances a person takes. The disruptions in the brain’s pathways cause the information passing through to be lost or rerouted in different ways from person to person.
A person who takes drugs like amphetamines may develop different disorders than those who use other kinds of substances. These mental health issues may only manifest when a person is under a heavy influence or persist throughout an individual’s life.
What are the Treatment Options for Mental Disorders From Drug Use?
Treatment of mental disorders from drug use varies from person to person. Removing someone from the influence of drugs may be enough to cause symptoms to disappear. Others may require more intensive therapy in a residential treatment program or an intensive outpatient program.
Those with sleep problems might benefit from therapies that get them in the habit of following specific bedroom routines to help clear their mind. Others with a more intense mental disorder may benefit from remaining in a long-term treatment program and continuing into aftercare programs that offer continued support for their recovery efforts.
Oceanfront Recovery clients receive a full evaluation upon admission to gain an understanding of a client’s addiction. We also educate them about their addiction and mental health issues. Our staff works hard to create treatment programs designed to treat all aspects of their condition.
Call (877) 296-7477 to find out more about the programs and treatments offered by Oceanfront Recovery.