Addiction and The Effects on Your Mental Health


Substance dependency, a.k.a. addiction, can result in a number physical ailments ranging in seriousness. The effects of drugs on the body have been widely studied and reported on, but the research delving into the mental costs of addiction is fairly new and not as widely discussed. The mental tolls of addiction are, however, just as dangerous as the physical ones.


Addiction Can Increase Your Risk of Depression

Depression is a common mental health condition that ends up effecting many people with substance abuse problems during their active using period, and while in recovery. This usually happens due to the substances themselves, even if the person has never suffered from depression in the past. Many substances can change your brain chemistry.

However, many people have reported that they have had severe depression lasting into recovery. This happens quite often due to the nature of withdrawal and the brain trying to get used to the drastic decrease of dopamine being produced due to the absence of the drug.



Addiction Can Also Increase the Risk of Suicide

Sometimes former users get so depressed they end up committing suicide. Substances like methamphetamine are known to permanently reduce your ability to produce your natural happy chemical “dopamine” which means you can no longer experience the same type of happiness you were able to before using the substance.


You May also Develop Schizophrenia

Reports from researchers in Denmark suggest that substance abusers are more likely to develop schizophrenia regardless of drug of choice, including alcohol. The relationship between schizophrenia and drug use is very complex, and continued research will help shed light on this.  Read the full article here.

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Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.