Drugs, alcohol and mental health - How can drugs affect my mental health?
How can drugs affect my mental health?
You may use drugs to help you to deal with the symptoms of your illness. Or you may use them because they make you feel good. Whatever your reason, using drugs can have a long-term negative effect on you. The possible long-term effects include the following.
- Needing to take more to get the same effect
- Feeling like you have to take the drug ('dependence')
- Withdrawal symptoms including feeling sick, cold, sweaty or shaky when you don’t take them
- Having sudden mood changes
- Having a negative outlook on life
- Loss of motivation
- Doing less well at work, school, college or university
- Problems with relationships
- Borrowing or stealing money from friends and family
- Being secretive
- Having episodes of psychosis
Using drugs can make it take longer for your mental health to get better. Drugs can make you more unwell and more likely to try and harm yourself or take your own life.
Using drugs could give you a mental illness that you didn't have before. For example, research has shown that cannabis can increase your chances of getting schizophrenia.
What does psychosis mean?
Psychosis means losing touch with reality. You may have unusual thoughts or experience things that aren't real. It can be a symptom of mental illness and can also be a short-term effect of some drugs.
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