The Link Between Mental Health and Drug Addiction

The Link Between Mental Health and Drug Addiction-1

Table of Contents

There are many reasons for people to consume drugs. Drugs are not illegal in all parts of the globe, either. Consuming recreational drugs in moderation amounts is considered acceptable in many cultures and communities.


However, when alcohol and drug consumption go overboard, it turns out to be a health hazard. It is one thing to take the drug, but another to get addicted to it. From fatal health consequences to difficult withdrawal symptoms, drug use and addiction can break your body entirely.


However, according to the reputed National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is the mental health implications that are the most dangerous risk of drug addiction. Drug misuse can lead to severe mental health problems. The intensity of mental health issues depends on the type of drug used by the addict.


The following sections trace the drug problem from the mental health aspect. Drug users need to understand the science of addiction and the effects of the drug on their mental health. From uncontrollable drug-seeking behavior to suicidal thoughts, drug misuse and addiction can destroy you mentally.


The timely decision to seek help and join a treatment program can help the addicts escape from alcohol or other drug dependence. The following sections discuss the different treatments for drug addiction.


Drug Addiction and Drug Use: Implications on Mental Health

People start the consumption of drugs for many reasons. From experimentation to revolting, early drug use has many causes. However, the problem begins when the user continues the use even after understanding the risk of drug use.


The disease of addiction can catch anyone at any time. Not only people with previous drug use are vulnerable to drug addiction. People with no history of drug use are also equally vulnerable to the scenario.


Whether the drug is a prescribed one or a recreational one, consuming it in moderation is the key. Drug users should understand the fact that repeated use of a drug will eventually lead to addiction.


Drug Addiction: What is it?

National Survey on Drug Use observes that initial drug use in many people is part of experimenting with it. However, these people gradually develop an addiction to opioids or other drugs. Once they have surrendered to substance use and addiction, it won’t be easy to recover from drugs.


From the initial stage, where drug use and addiction are preventable, things gradually progress to the next stage. The users will start showing the signs of addiction. Drug addiction includes signs like sleepiness, shyness, mood swings, etc. If they do not reduce drug consumption, they will soon surrender themselves entirely to alcohol or drugs.


When you regularly use drugs, whether prescription drugs or not, they will cause many mental health issues. Developing an addiction and developing vulnerable mental health exist parallelly. Understanding drug use and addiction is crucial in preventing the drug from getting to your sanity.


Drug Enforcement Administration suggests that people showing symptoms of drug abuse need to undergo treatment for substance use as quickly as possible. Substance abuse treatment is available from many reputed organizations presently. Utilizing those resources is essential to escape from drug addiction and resultant mental health issues.

The Link Between Mental Health and Drug Addiction
Drug Abuse and Addiction: Health Concerns

Repeated drug use causes different health issues in other people. Some of the significant health concerns that are associated with drug use are as follows.

  • High blood pressure
  • Strokes
  • Liver issues
  • Pancreas problems
  • High risk of cancers
  • Reproductive abnormalities
  • Fertility issues
  • Drug dependence
  • Negative mindset
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Episodes of psychosis
Substance Abuse and Mental Health

One of the most prominent risks of drug use is the development of mental illnesses. Addiction affects the functioning of the human brain. Depending on the amount of the drug consumed, an addict can have episodes of hallucination. Once the development of drug addiction is complete, the addict will surrender to multiple mental health issues.


Mental health and addiction is a heated topic worldwide. It is a proven fact that consuming larger doses of the drug can worsen the existing mental health illnesses in an addict. It is also a known fact that people struggling with addiction can even develop new mental health issues.


In the history of addiction research, several theories have come out regarding the close connection between drug use patterns and psychosis. As per the theories, alcohol and illicit drug users have a more significant chance of experiencing episodes of psychosis.


Likewise, there are different ways in which different drugs affect the mental health of the consumer. Uncontrolled drug use can change even the entire personality of the addict. The following section traces the mental health impacts of various adult alcohol and illicit drug options.



Cannabis is known to cause depression and anxiety when the drug is taken in high doses. Recent studies have also mentioned that Cannabis can cause psychosis and episodes of Schizophrenia.


Stimulant Drugs

Stimulant drugs pose a greater risk of drug addiction. They are also very quick to cause mental health illnesses in consumers. Anxiety, paranoia, depression, etc., are some of the most common effects of heavy drug use for stimulation.


One of the dangerous effects of stimulant drugs is that they can relapse a past mental health illness. This drug of choice can cause significant episodes of psychosis in consumers.



Although alcohol is not known to cause new mental health problems, it can certainly worsen some. People undergoing drug addiction treatment will have withdrawal symptoms and the urge to return to drug use. Alcohol can worsen the drug-seeking and use urges. It can pressure the consumer to take more of the drug.


People with a risk for alcohol addiction are observed to have relatively high suicidal thoughts.


Hallucinogenic Drugs

Hallucinogenic drug use addiction affects your brain significantly. Hallucinogenic drug dependence and addiction will only make any mental illness worse. They can cause flashbacks in the user and cause significant distress. A development of addiction to hallucinogenic drugs will cause the user to detach from reality completely.



Tranquilizer drug addiction is a chronic condition. These drugs are generally used as muscle relaxants. Addiction to drugs used as relaxants can lead to the user being sleepy. Tranquilizer overdose or addiction can take the life out of the user.



Cocaine drug use and health deterioration are common discussions. Cocaine can cause significant tiredness and exhaustion in users. People use cocaine drug just to feel calm. However, their overuse leads to depression, anxiety, and paranoia.



Heroin drug addiction is considered fatal. Recovery from drug addiction to heroin is relatively difficult. Sleepiness, disinterestedness, etc., are the side effects of heroin use. Overcoming a heroin addiction can be challenging.


Final Word: First Step to Overcoming Drug Abuse

The first step to stop the use of a drug is to be aware of its harmful nature. Every social evil, including addiction, can only be prevented by society from within. Drug users need to understand the effects and risks associated with drug addiction. They should be convinced of the fact that their physical and mental health will gradually deteriorate if they don’t refrain from drug use. Medication, therapy, counseling, etc., can help the patient recover afterward.


You can find out whether you are addicted to drugs by looking at possible symptoms. The most common symptoms are the urge to consume drugs, restlessness, mood swings, weakness, etc.

Drug overdose is the condition where a person has consumed more drugs than what is permitted. Drug overdose can even lead to death.

To cope with drug cravings, you can meditate, exercise, engage in activities, take therapy, etc. You can take the service of a professional if needed.

The effects of drug abuse are the gradual deterioration of physical and mental health.

Pre-existing mental health disorders can very much increase the risk of addiction. Drugs can give temporary solutions to mental health issues, which can gradually lead to drug dependence.

Addiction recovery and addiction treatment are how a drug addict can be brought back to life. Medication, therapy, counseling, etc., are parts of addiction recovery.

Contributing Editor

Troy Wakelin – Co-Founder and Contributing Editor

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