Did you know that substance abuse and mental health problems are closely linked? While one does not directly cause the other, some people use drugs and alcohol to deal with the symptoms of mental health issues. Substance abuse can increase the underlying risk for these disorders.

Consequently, they can even make the problem worse by increasing the symptoms of mental illness or even triggering new symptoms. Long-term use of certain drugs leads to short or long-term changes in a users brain. This leads to mental health issues among them being:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations

People addicted to drugs also are often diagnosed with other mental disorders, or vice versa, addiction can lead to mental health problems.

Some drugs that affect your brain include cocaine, inhalants, kratom, LSD, marijuana, PCP, MDMA, or steroids. It can be very difficult to diagnose substance abuse and a mental health disorder occurring at the same time.

The Warning Signs:

Here are 5 warning signs that your mental health is being affected due to substance abuse:

  1. Do you rely on drugs/alcohol to cope with unpleasant feelings, stay focused, control pain, or face situations that scare you?
  2. Have you been noticing a correlation between your mental health and substance use such as drinking when you are sad?
  3. Has anyone in your family suffered from drug abuse or a mental disorder?
  4. How do you feel when you are sober? Depressed? Anxious?
  5. Is there a history of abuse or unresolved trauma in your life?

Dealing with these problems is hard, especially because addiction is so common upon using this substance. In only one or two tries, the individual can fall into the frightening world of addiction. With this being said, dealing with substance abuse is never easy. Pair this with a mental health problem, and it makes the user’s situation even harder.

The good news is that there are ways hope and a way to recover. With the right treatments, self-help, and support from professionals, family, and friends, you can get on the right road to recovery.

What Makes Drugs and Alcohol So Addictive?

The effects of these substances are what makes them so addictive. Users enjoy the temporary feeling of happiness or bliss, but more times than not, this feeling is followed by withdrawal symptoms once the individual stops using the substance.

There are also negative effects to abusing drugs or alcohol including nausea, vomiting, physical discomfort, and pain, in addition to affecting mental health. Heroin, for example, is a highly addictive drug. Not only is it dangerous but it has killed users. Despite the consequences, this substance continues to be used on a regular basis by individuals. This drug devastates the lives of those who use it as well as family, friends, and loved ones around them.

Like many other drugs, heroin is illegal in the U.S. because of its results. It can be snorted or smoked, but it’s more commonly injected into the veins, shooting an instant high to the brain. After one or two uses, individuals are very likely to become addicted because of the extreme effects.

Using drugs such as heroin as a shield to what’s going on in one’s life is one of the worst mistakes that can be done because it affects your brain. While users may feel like they are in a dream, the adverse effects include vomiting or nausea. It will instantly block the user from receiving pain messages, slow down breathing and decrease heart rate. More information on the effects of addiction on mental health and the reasons driving addiction can be found online if you research topics like Heroin Addiction: Effects and Reasons for Abuse.

The recovery process is a long one taking anywhere from months to years. However, despite the time it takes, getting one’s life back on track will bring individuals positive, amazing outcomes. If you or someone you know is a victim of substance abuse, seek help to get on the road to recovery. Anything is possible with the right help and resources.