Psychological Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Psychological Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Psychological Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse has been a prime social problem in society. These substances affect not only the physical and psychological well-being of the user but also accelerate other drug-related challenges. Alcohol and drugs are the leading contributors to depression and death among teenagers in recent times. They contain addictive substances, which alter the normal functioning of the brain. Drug addicts subject their lives to numerous risks such as accidents, drowning, falling, and suicide. Hard drugs like bhang, cocaine, and heroin make the addicts develop false hallucinations, which denote mental health deterioration. As such, many countries consider some drugs illegal while others prohibit the consumption of alcohol by minors. Drugs and alcohol abuse are the leading promoters of social evils such as violence, family wrangles, sexual immorality and robbery in society; it also leads to various psychological disorders that cause mental disorders and death.

There is a strong relationship between alcohol abuse and depression, which is a psychological disorder characterized by mood swings and restlessness. The hard economic times trigger depression since people cannot access basic daily needs like food, shelter, and clothing. Additionally, unhealthy relationships between lovers, families, and members of the society also contribute to hopelessness and depression. Since drugs and alcohol develop false excitement feelings, addicts use them to forget about the depressing actions and situations in their lives. However, even though the drugs and alcohol temporarily alleviate these feelings, they leave long-term physical and mental effects, which raise the depressive feelings to toxic levels. For example, the prime risk factor for opioid abuse is depression (Edlund et al., 2015, p.132). Many people also abuse alcohol while struggling with depression, which arises from romantic wrangles, financial and health problems. Individuals struggling with depression develop negative relations with others and easily indulge in violent and illegal activities. Excessive use of alcohol and other drugs like opium, cocaine, and bhang because of depression deteriorate mental and physical health and eventually lead to death.

Addiction is another common psychological disorder that results from alcohol and drug abuse; it threatens the mental and physical health of drug users. According to Scofield et al (2016), addiction is a “pervasive neuropsychiatric disease that imposes an immense societal cost” (p.818). In essence, addiction is an involuntary devotion to drug and alcohol abuse that develops when individuals depend on drugs for long periods. The feeling is intense to the extent that addicts’ bodies cannot operate normally without taking the drugs and alcohol. Drug addiction is a psychological problem because it affects the way people behave and relate to others in society. Drug addicts become violent when they fail to access the drugs that they are addicted to. Tobacco, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, caffeine, and bhang are major drugs that are highly addictive. Drug addiction raises conflicts in families because the addicts spend all their finances on drugs and fail to provide for their dependents. The addiction feeling makes it difficult for people to stop abusing drugs and alcohol. Prolonged dependence on alcohol and drugs triggers chronic illnesses, which lead to suffering and eventually death.

Another probable psychological challenge of drug and substance abuse is anxiety, which makes the addicts restless and nervous. Anxiety is a psychological disorder that people undermine in most circumstances because of their diverse origins. Anxious individuals often worry and fear about their current situations or future outcomes. Some of the characteristics of anxiety include sweating and rapid breathing. Anxiety is common among drug and alcohol addicts because of the false feelings the substances impose in their bodies and their minds. Anxiety disorders are the health problems that emerge from anxious feelings, which have detrimental effects on the mental health of drug and alcohol abusers. For instance, anxiety causes drug and alcohol addicts to indulge in violent activities like fighting and lures their minds to develop suicidal thoughts, which threaten their lives.  The feelings of restlessness and nervousness make the drug addicts to make errors, especially in their careers.  For example, anxious drivers who consume alcohol and drugs easily cause accidents on the roads. The anxiety that emerges from drug and alcohol abuse is catastrophic since it triggers health problems like high blood pressure and hypertension, which can easily lead to death.

Drug and alcohol abuse also initiate paranoia among addicts, which lead to false accusations, threats, and persecutions in society. Paranoia is a psychotic disorder which makes people act and behave in an arrogant and disorganized manner. The individuals make conclusions without listening to others because of the deterioration of their physical and mental health. Majorly, drugs and alcohol promote paranoia in individuals since they give the addicts temporary strengths that help them to threaten and victimize others in society. For instance, researchers realize that drugs like Benzofurans produce paranoia and agitation (Liechti, 2015, p.5). Long term abuse of marijuana and cocaine makes the addicts to develop the paranoia. Paranoiac individuals neither disclose accurate information nor trust others because of anxieties and cravings. Some alcohol addicts also threaten and intimidate others, especially when they consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Paranoia is a psychological disorder that makes people develop negative feelings towards others because they fail to trust them. It triggers immoral behaviors such as irresponsible sex due to threats and enticements. Paranoia endangers people’s lives since it initiates health and security threats.

Confusion and insanity are other psychological disorders associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Some drugs have adverse effects when they enter the bloodstream of an addict. By tampering with the parts of the brain responsible for memory and stability, they increase confusion and desperation among the users. The addicts cannot effectively prepare and attend their duties because of their unconsciousness and mixed feelings. Additionally, prolonged exposure to drugs and alcohol can lead to insanity, which is difficult to treat. Because of insanity, many governments offer guidance and counseling services in rehabilitation centers to help the insane to recover from drug and alcohol abuse. The alarming cases of permanent brain damage among drug addicts call for collaboration and strict enforcement of the law. Confused and insane people make negative decisions that subject their lives to dangers like drowning, accidents, and suicide.

Drug and alcohol abuse are international problems that call for partnership between countries to terminate them. Governments must address social challenges like poverty and unemployment, which pressure individuals to indulge in unhealthy practices. Drug and alcohol abuse threaten the lives of individuals because of psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, and addiction. Poor parental care habits and incompetent curriculums continue to promote drug and alcohol abuse, particularly among teenagers. To counter the psychological problems emerging from drug and alcohol abuse, people must unite and support the existing policies.


Edlund, M. J., Forman-Hoffman, V. L., Winder, C. R., Heller, D. C., Kroutil, L. A., Lipari, R. N., & Colpe, L. J. (2015). Opioid abuse and depression in adolescents: Results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 152, 131-138. Retrieved from https://daneshyari.com/article/preview/1069779.pdf

Liechti, M. (2015). Novel psychoactive substances (designer drugs): overview and pharmacology of modulators of monoamine signaling. Swiss Medical Weekly. Retrieved from https://edoc.unibas.ch/4228/1/20160321140625_56eff1d1cbfa3.pdf

Scofield, M. D., Heinsbroek, J. A., Gipson, C. D., Kupchik, Y. M., Spencer, S., Smith, A. C., … Kalivas, P. W. (2016). The Nucleus Accumbens: Mechanisms of Addiction across Drug Classes Reflect the Importance of Glutamate Homeostasis. Pharmacological Reviews, 68(3), 816-871. Retrieved from http://pharmrev.aspetjournals.org/content/pharmrev/68/3/816.full.pdf


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