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How Addiction Impacts Learning and Memory

How Addiction Impacts Learning and MemoryUsing drugs long term changes the brain, which can affect personality, behavior and psychological functioning. It can lead to depression and other serious consequences such as increased risk of suicide and antisocial, criminal behavior.

Drug use also affects the ability to learn and remember/form memories. Albuquerque drug users may be familiar with the short-term amnesia that comes with drug use, or the inability to recall the entire time that they were high.

How deeply drugs affect cognitive abilities is related to the amount and frequency Albuquerque residents use drugs, the length of time they have been addicted and the age at which they started. Usually the earlier in life a person starts using and the more and longer he uses, the more severe effects will be.

Psychological Damage Related to Drug Use in Albuquerque

Most drugs affect the brain by acting upon two chemical neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, which are related to moods and emotions. Drug use causes the brain to produce excess levels of these neurotransmitters, resulting in the euphoric high of drug use. With repeated use the brain accommodates for the drug, and it produces less of these chemicals on its own. Therefore, if an Albuquerque drug addict tries to quit, these chemicals plummet, and the result is severe depression and psychological changes resembling psychosis. Suicide is somewhat common among drug addicts, especially during withdrawals. Depending on the drug in question, symptoms of mental illness can persist for quite some time.
Some drugs, such as hallucinogens, produce delusional episodes and psychosis during intoxication and also long after.

How Drug Use Affects Albuquerque Residents’ Cognitive Abilities

Many studies have been conducted on how drugs affect cognitive abilities, and they consistently find that drug use (especially long-term, heavy use) damages the brain’s ability to learn and store new information. Drug use impairs cognitive functions, deductive reasoning, judgment and the brain’s recall ability. This results in decreased performance in school and at work. Albuquerque drug users when compared with non-drug users may get lower grades in school and have more problems on the job including absenteeism, tardiness, lower performance evaluations, fewer advancements, more sick days, more accidents and injuries, more worker’s compensation claims and higher rates of turnover.

The good news is that, while drugs can cause permanent damage in severe cases, some damage is reversible with a period of sustained abstinence.

Albuquerque Addiction Help

If you live in Albuquerque and suffer from drug use or addiction, it is not too late to restore your mental functioning and psychological health. If you have any questions about drug addiction or treatment, or if you need help finding addiction treatment, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day.