People use alcohol and drugs in different ways - usually to experiment, to relax, or to get high. Because drugs and alcohol affect your mind as well as your body, they can have a strong effect on your feelings and thoughts. These effects usually wear off as the substance gets out of your system.
But for some people alcohol and certain drugs (like cannabis, ecstasy or LSD) can increase the risk of experiencing mental health problems, especially anxiety and depression. This can happen in the short-term, or longer term “sometimes because the person has an underlying mental health condition.
On the other hand, people can use drugs and alcohol as a way of trying to deal with mental health issues. They use a substance to try to counteract the signs they are experiencing. This can be especially true for young people. If this is happening, it’s really important to get advice and help. Otherwise people can end up with a combination of substance abuse and mental health problems which can make each other worse. The other important thing to remember is that most drugs are illegal ” so they can get you into the kind of trouble which has lots of other impacts on your life.
Some people think that an addiction to drugs or alcohol is itself a type of mental health problem. When someone is addicted, their use of a substance gets out of their control - or it seems to control them. Addiction happens on two levels: physical and psychological (mental). When people stop taking a substance they’re addicted to, they go through physical “withdrawal” symptoms but the psychological addiction (or ‘craving’) can be even harder to deal with.
People can experience anxiety, depression, disrupted sleep and find it hard to concentrate when they’re trying to stop drinking or taking drugs. That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to get help if you think might have problems with alcohol or drugs.
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