Drugs and alcohol exist as long as modern civilization. However, in the 20th century, more and more people of all ages became addicts. No one knows why that happened, but one thing is sure – that dark trend will continue in the future.
Psychoactive substances are major causes of mental disorders. Diseases usually occur after a long period of use. But this is not the rule of thumb. Sometimes even recreational use of drugs or taking medicines can cause problems to our mental health.
Drug use from time to time often leads to abuse. Find more info on this source: https://www.familydoctor.co.nz/categories/personal-and-social-issues/risks-of-recreational-drug-use/.
Substance Causing Mental Disorders
Not all psychoactive substances are illegal. The law allows their production, sale, and use. It just depends on the type of product. Accordingly, the substances are divided into:
- Medicines such as analgesics, sedatives, antipsychotics, etc.
- Alcohol, coffee, and tobacco – these are commercial products, and their use is widespread and ethically acceptable.
- Narcotics which use is against the law – heavy drugs like cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc.
Also, we can classify psychoactive substance based on their effects on our nervous system.
The first group includes alcohol and most of the medicines. After we take one of these, our body is relaxing and our vital functions are slowing down. We know these substances as depressants because they make us drowsy and slow.
The second group of psychoactive substances contains cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, and cannabis (here find debates about this drug, as many people use it as medicine). Unlike depressors, stimulants make us high. We get more energy, excitement, and self-confidence. As for vital functions, we usually don’t feel tired and sleepy after taking these drugs. Our heart rate and blood pressure rise too.
Hallucinogens are the third group of opiates. They include all synthetic drugs, which public use is not allowed by law. LSD, peyote, “magic mushrooms,” and similar products cause hallucinations. Or, in the slang of drug users, trips. Users’ perception is changing. They lose the sense of space and time. Usually, they are afraid of other people and the environment.
The Connection between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
People see the first effects of taking drugs and alcohol quickly. When they take psychoactive substances for the first time, they feel good, high and dashing. Narcotics make them forget about the troubles and bad things. So they will take these substances on and on. But further use won’t solve their problems. It will cause more of them; they will become addicts, and their health will be in danger.
Effects of narcotics on physical health and appearance are visible. But the consequences for our brain are serious too. Some people are prone to mental diseases, like adolescents or persons with a history of addiction. Those who are in contact with drug and alcohol addicts are in the risky group too.
Most users of opiates are not aware of their disease. When they are ready to deal with the addiction, their brain already suffered significant damage. People who want to get sober and save their health have to start with the treatment as soon as possible. They have to treat both cause and effect, as explained on sites like Chapters Capistrano’s Dual Diagnosis Treatment page.
Common Mental Disorders
The daily use of psychoactive substances increases the chances of becoming mentally ill. Science still can’t explain how narcotics affect the occurrence of mental disorders. Yet, their impact on chemicals in our nervous system is clear. They affect signals that our brain sends to the rest of the body. That causes functional and behavioral issues.
Alcohol and drug abuse can cause some common diseases, such as schizophrenia, depression, paranoia (it often occurs in heavy drug users), bipolar disorder, etc. Besides, many prescription drugs have side effects on our brain after we’ve taken them for years. They can affect our social skills, so we can feel traumas.
People who take opiates regularly usually don’t notice their illness. And when they do, the damage was already made. But they should know that it’s not too late for healing. Many rehab clinics use specific treatments to deal with a dual diagnosis. Patients must cooperate and have a will to get well and become sober again.