Hidden Influences

Mental Health And Drug Use

For teens and adults alike there exists a hidden danger related to drug use. It’s a fact that drug use and mental health appears to happen concurrently in about half of either drugs users or people with mental health problems. This doesn’t mean that someone with depression or anxiety will automatically become a drug addict.Yet drug use and addiction do tend to happen together in a person who has preexisting mental health problems. This is because someone who struggles with their mental health is more predisposed to seek relief. Often the drugs they abuse are the most addictive as well.

However, a person otherwise healthy who becomes a drug user is much more likely to develop mental health difficulties because of physiological changes to the way the brain functions. This inevitably has an impact on mood, brain function, and emotional balance. Drug use causes permanent chemical changes to the brain that are irreparable.

Teen Development

These problems are only compounded when they occur in a young adult. A teenager is still at a very early stage in mental development. Their brains are still learning and growing. Not to mention the psychological impact drug use can have when a teen is already under stress from school, peer pressure, and coming to maturity. It can take up to 25 years for a human brain to finish growing.

Adding this additional stress to a teen coupled with chemical changes brought on by introducing an illegal drug into the body can have permanent effects. This goes back to what we found earlier that the danger of first-time drug use can be the decisive point for both mental and physical health.

Emotional Impact

Even if a teen who uses illegal drugs manages to stop using and suffers no apparent physical or mental impairment the emotional impact can last a lifetime. The hidden influences of drug abuse are at times below the surface and not visible to others or even the user him or herself. Emotional damage can make it difficult to engage in lasting relationships or process feelings properly. The simple fact is that drug abuse and teen life don’t mix and deciding not to succumb to peer pressures to use drugs is the best decision a young person can make.

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