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How Drug Usage Affects Mental Health

drug usage

How Drug Usage Affects Mental Health

How Drug Usage Affects Mental Health

Drug usage is one of the main issues that affect mental health problems. Drugs will have a big effect on your brain. Misusing drugs or anything can damage your mental health. However, drug usage and alcohol are big contributors. People often turn to drug usage in times of stress or when struggling with mental health illnesses. They may believe it is a way to solve their problems. However, too much drug usage can cause many problems. For example:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Strokes
  • Infertility

Drug usage impacts many mental and physical health issues. They are very damaging to your general health. The list gives us a small number of problems, but there are many more to be aware of before taking drugs.

Anxiety And Depression

As we know, many things in life can cause anxiety and depression. We have such busy work lives in today's society. We also have endless opportunities. If we do not look after ourselves, these things will cause mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. For example:

  • Burnout at work
  • Difficult relationships and friendships
  • Insecurities
  • Financial difficulties

However, drug usage is the main contributor to anxiety and depression. The chemicals in drugs will create an imbalance in our bodies. Drugs raise our heart rate and cause other unnatural changes to our bodies. In the long term, this will affect our mental health.

Anxiety and depression are often because of stress on the body and the mind. Drug usage puts a lot of stress on the body as it raises your blood pressure and heart rate. These physical side effects and the many more that drugs will cause can lead our bodies to go into a state of shock.

The chemicals in drugs can make you feel great at the time, but once the drug wears off, it makes you feel particularly low in mood. As a result, you can develop symptoms of depression. Therefore, drug usage affects your mental health.


Some people take drugs if they are feeling stressed or have depression. In other words, some people take drugs to try to cope with mental illness. However, it is often the drugs that cause mental illness or make mental conditions you already have worse. Taking drugs more and more can result in you becoming reliant on them and addicted to them. Becoming addicted to drugs can damage your mental and physical health.

It is important to remember there are always healthy alternative ways to cope with mental illness. Such as:

  • Meditation
  • Breathing techniques
  • Fresh air
  • Exercise

Some people take drugs like cocaine and cannabis to cope with mental illness. However, some people become addicted to prescription medication.

Becoming addicted to prescription medication is dangerous. It can do as much damage to your mental and physical health as other drugs. Becoming obsessed with or addicted to prescription medication when they are not needed can cause long-term mental health issues. These can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis

If you know you are developing an addiction to drugs or other medication, it is crucial to get help from a doctor.

Physical Problems Caused by Drug Usage

Drugs like cocaine at the time of usage can make you feel confident and lively. However, in the long term, they can affect your physical health. They can affect you in many ways, for example:

  • Fits
  • Strokes
  • High blood pressure

Furthermore, the short-term physical side effects of drug usage will wear off. When this happens, you could get depressive episodes and become very tired.

Long Term Effects Of Drug Usage

Taking drugs over a long period can result in many long-term effects. For example:

  • Infertility
  • Psychosis
  • Strokes

The long-term effects of drug usage will cause problems in all areas of your life. Becoming infertile, having psychosis and having a stroke can damage relationships and have a big impact on your mental health. The long-term effects of high blood pressure and strokes can greatly impact your heart, possibly resulting in a heart attack.


Your ability to have children can be greatly affected by taking drugs. When you take drugs, they absorb into your bloodstream. Therefore, they can affect your sperm or egg count. In other words, you may be unable to have children.

Becoming infertile can affect your relationships and damage your mental health. It is a known fact that many things can affect your fertility. However, drug usage is something you can get support for.

On the other hand, if you can get pregnant, drug usage could affect your baby's growth and development. Therefore, drugs can cause long term effects for you and your child.

Drug usage could also affect your child in later life, as well as while you are pregnant. If you develop psychosis or other mental health problems, the child will have to deal with also struggle mentally.


Being addicted to drug usage can cause severe mental health conditions such as psychosis. Psychosis is a long-term effect of drug usage. Psychosis is a mental health condition and can be heightened by drug usage that alters your mind. The symptoms of this mental health condition are:

  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Seeing and hearing things that other people do not see or hear
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having changed sleeping patterns - they may sleep too much or be awake too much

Conditions like psychosis can damage friendships and relationships as well as general health. In other words, psychosis will affect your mental health as you could lose friends and family members. Psychosis could also cause depression and anxiety. However, it will also affect your physical health. Therefore, psychosis will affect you in many ways.

Having psychosis can lead to you being hospitised, not being able to make decisions for yourself and seeing things differently from others. Psychosis is a challenging mental health condition for both the person with it and the family. You also may not think about if you were casually taking drugs.


Drugs can cause strokes. Having a stroke can leave you physically damaged for the long term. Having a stroke can affect you in many ways. For example:

  • Difficulty with speech
  • Immobility
  • Tiredness
  • Memory loss

The long-term effects of having a stroke resulting from taking drug usage can be very upsetting to a person. Finding that you cannot speak well or are forgetting small things can put so much stress on the body. Therefore, having a stroke resulting from taking drugs will damage your mental health.

Having a stroke can cause so many damaging effects. If not taking drugs can lower your chances of suffering these effects, you should avoid them!

Written by Lily Shaw


What is the relationship between drugs and mental illness?

Drugs impacts mental illness because of the chemical imbalance it puts on your body.

How do drugs affect your mental and physical health?

Drugs can impact mental health illnesses such as:

  • Psychosis
  • Depression and anxiety

It also causes physical problems that will affect our lifestyles. For example:

  • Strokes – causing immobility, difficulty with communication etc.
  • Infertility
  • High blood pressure

How do alcohol and drugs affect mental health?

Alcohol and drugs both harm mental health. The endorphins released to our bodies when we take the drugs or drink alcohol wear off. However, our brains think we need them to stay in that happy mood. Therefore, we become addicted, and this affects our mental health.

How are substance abuse and mental health related?

Substance abuse means you overdose repeatedly. Taking drugs can cause long-term mental health illnesses, even if you have stopped taking the drugs.

If you are struggling with either your mental health or a drug or alcohol addiction our highly experienced counsellors are here to support you.

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