Recreational Drugs: Affecting Our Mental Health More Than We Realize?

Used as a temporary escape from our everyday lives, recreational drugs offer an escape from our everyday lives and the problems that come with them. When used as a means of escape, recreational drug use can actually end up worsening their mental health situation, causing users to need help with substance abuse treatment.

Recently, scientists have only just begun to make the connection between mental illness and drug use. In fact, 75% of those attending drug treatment services have had a psychiatric disorder within the past year, and the same percentage of people diagnosed with mental illnesses have used drugs in the last year, which is three times the national average.

One former drug user who first began using ketamine at age 14 explained that, “my head wasn’t silent enough by itself and taking drugs calmed me down. I was still developing. For me, the world outside drugs is very dull and boring – nothing matched the pinnacles of taking drugs when I was turning from a child into an adult.”

In fact, those who start smoking marijuana before the age of 15 are four times more likely than non-users to develop a psychotic illness, mainly because the brain is still developing.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, “a massive process of neural pruning is going on, like streamlining a tangled jumble of circuits so they can work more effectively. Any experience, or substance, that affects this process has the potential to produce long-term psychological effects.”

from www.treatmentalternatives.com  blog