How Drug Use can Change Your Brain

We’ve all seen the famous commercial where a man cracks an egg and drops it into a frying pan to show how drugs affect the brain. The ad ran for more than two decades to raise awareness on how drug use can severely impair the brain. But did you know just occasional drinking and drug use can cause your brain to physically change? Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine   recently discovered just occasional use of stimulant drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and even prescription drugs like Adderall can cause neurological changes.

The study was based on brain scans and reaction tests taken by students between the ages of 18 to 24. The students were placed in front of a television monitor where either an X or an O would appear on the screen. If an X appeared, the students were instructed to press a left button immediately. If an O appeared, students pressed the right button.  If only a tone was heard, students were instructed not to press any button.  Students were divided into two groups. The first was for occasional stimulant users and the other was for those who have never taken a stimulant.  Each group was analyzed for different factors including alcohol dependency and mental health disorders.  Researchers concluded that not only do drugs affect the brain, certain brains are more likely to be more susceptible to drug addiction. Instead of the old commercial telling us this is your brain on drugs, the study identifies a brain that does drugs.  This indicates that substance abuse can be hardwired into your brains.

The results concluded the occasional stimulant users committed more mistakes and their performance regressed as opposed to those who are non-users.  Studies like this one can go a long way in ultimately identifying those who are more likely to fall victim to substance abuse. Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease. But it’s also preventable. If you’re suffering from a drug or alcohol dependency, it’s time to get immediate help. Call the Alcoholism Treatment Helpline in Elizabeth, NJ today and regain control of your life.

Posted on: