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Common Mental Health Conditions
Caused by Substance Abuse

Excessive use of drugs or alcohol can cause adverse effects on the brain. The results can range from short-term to long-term ones.

Some of the most common mental health issues substance abuser can face are:

  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Here's one fact — most of the substance abusers are often diagnosed with some or other mental disorder. Similarly, many people with mental illnesses are addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Sadly, substance abusers are around 2 to 3 times as likely to suffer from anxiety issues as compared to the general population. The same applies reverse as well.

According to the study conducted in 2015, around 17.1% of the total United States population (43.4 million) suffered from some mental disorders. These illnesses were other than developmental or substance abuse disorders.

Of these, around 8.1 million people experienced both substance abuse disorder and mental illness.

Even though substance use disorders mostly occur with another mental illness, it's difficult to conclude that one helps another. Or, some common risk factors contribute to both.

It's a common fact that many choose drugs to battle the symptoms of mental illness. While consumption of euphoric drugs to ameliorate feelings can work temporarily, it may develop disorders in the long run.

Drugs or alcohol can do much more than merely masking the mental illness. With offering relief to everyday mental issues, they can cause a new disorder.

Disorders Substances Can Cause

Theoretically, substance abuse issues can go hand in hand with almost every mental illness. However, as per the information provided by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 9 types of mental diseases can directly arise due to drug use.


Delirium patients experience frequent shifts in mental states. In some cases, they may not be able to pay complete attention to the things occurring around and cannot remember the details.

Also, they find it challenging to keep their arms and legs still. Ultimately, they seem irritated, depressed, numb, or jittery. It is tough to control such people as they are extremely hard to deal with.

Hallucinogen-Persisting Perceptual Disorder

This causes specific hallucinations like:

  • Floating objects
  • Helos of light
  • Color streaks
  • Movement trails

In general, the patients can explain why they see these visions or if they are disturbed by them. Such sensations do not always cause a disturbance in patients.


This disorder is quite similar to Delirium. Psychosis patients also seem out of control, unreasonable and jittery.

Some patients may claim to hear voices that others cannot hear. And, keep staring at places or faces that others cannot see. They can be angry, violent and extremely dangerous as they don't realize what they are doing.

Persisting amnestic disorder

This disorder is a result of long-term use of drugs. It impacts your ability to access old memories and store new memories. This happens as the drugs damage some vital parts of the brain. The severity of the disorder can range from mild to extreme based on how much damage has been done.

Anxiety disorders

Most of the symptoms of this disorder are the same as a sleeping disorder. Patients are often restless and ill in such cases, no matter if it's a day or night.

Mood Disorders

Even though this is less severe as compared to other disorders, it may lead to relentless depression over time. Patients seem to struggle to gather new information or pay attention.

Some patients have reported difficulties in collecting memories from the past and muster up the courage and rigor they need to stay active.

Persisting Dementia

This affects the memories of the patients. Also, it weakens your ability to learn and concentrate. Patients may struggle to handle finance-related issues or handle electronic equipment. The severity of this disorder depends heavily on the drugs that have been used.

Sexual Dysfunction

People abusing drugs may struggle to take part in sex, whether they feel depressed or not. This disorder goes along with mood disorders.

Some patients may feel the psychological desire to participate in sexual activities, but their body does not allow. On the other hand, some may not feel the desire at all.

Sleep Disorders

This comes in many forms. Some patients may find it extremely difficult to sleep, even though their body is completely exhausted. Their mind stays active all the time that does not all allow the sound sleep. And, some patients struggle to stay asleep as they are awake after short intervals of time.

Causes of These Disorders

While all the adobe-mentioned mental illnesses are different, they arise due to various reasons too. The following can be one of the major causes:

  • Length of the addiction
  • Drugs person consumes
  • Overall health of the user
  • Amount of drugs person takes
  • Frequency of the consumption

It's quite tricky to find how these mental illnesses may come to light. And, the same disorder can be totally different in two individuals.

Most of all, people with such issues have chemical damage that causes depression. If not addressed on time, it grows worse and makes it difficult to live with.


As these disorders hold in differently with different people, it is not surprising that the treatments may vary from person to person. Treatment centers in orange county recommend intensive treatment programs, medications and therapies for such illnesses.

It is always best to seek help as soon as possible for mental health problems and substance abuse. With this, you have a better chance of recovery and less chance of going back to drugs or alcohol.

You may be asked to attend group or individual therapies. And there, you will learn more about a healthy diet, regular exercise, alcohol, drugs and more.

Final Thoughts

Education on mental health disorders can be helpful for the people that have experienced addiction. But, it cannot be compared with professional help.

While it is hard to treat such illnesses without proper training, it's really hard to understand without knowing the root cause. Professionals know what diagnosis is to be done and which treatment plan can get the best outcomes.

The staff at Renaissance Recovery is highly-trained to provide the care you need. Our experts guide families with each step so that they can make the right decisions.

If you or your loved one needs help, contact us. We would love to help and make the healing possible.

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