The Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Mental Health

Effects of Alcohol & Drugs on Mental Health

A person’s mental health refers to the condition of their psychological and emotional well-being. Poor mental health can have severe ramifications, and so it is very important that people take care of it. One way of looking after your mental health is by taking in to consideration the effects drugs and alcohol can have.

The NHS define mental health as “The emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to survive pain, disappointment and sadness. It is a fundamental belief in our own and others’ dignity and worth”. Those who misuse alcohol and drugs on a daily basis severely impact their mental well-being.

The short-term effects of alcohol and drugs may initially bring a somewhat pleasurable experience to the user, but this impact is only temporary. In the long-term it can cause serious issues for their mental well-being.

How does this impact Mental Health?

Alcohol and/or drug misuse is related to causing disruptions in individual’s lives and is linked to many causes of stresses, anxiety, depression, memory loss and in some cases death:

Alcohol and drug links to the brain:

Alcohol and drugs can disrupt the daily function to the human brain. Alcohol for example is a depressant which will cause disruptions on the balance of the brain affecting thoughts, feelings and actions. Alcohol and drugs cause the brain to release chemical changes that create stimulation by weakening the part of the brain associated with inhibition leading to increases in confidence. However, alcohol and drugs affect the brain in other ways. It may create mood changes leading to aggression, anger, anxiousness and depression.

Anxiety, Stress and Depression:

In today’s society everyone at some stage has faced signs of anxiety, stress and depression. Whether it be work related, home or financial worries it’s something that impacts everyone. Alcohol and drug abuse is a major cause for these 3 mental health fears. It is also known to lower the levels of serotonin in the brain to cause changes to an individual’s mood, and excessive drinking cause’s increases in anxiety, stress and depression.

Drugs in particular have been connected to effect mental health by causing psychiatric illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorders, forms of anxiety and phobias. Such health issues have been found to come into play when substance abusers are suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Psychosis, Self-harm and Death:

Alcohol and drugs can have a major impact on the psychological function and mental well-being of an individual through abuse. Psychosis is one of the main mental health issues caused by alcohol or drugs. This can be defined as a mental disorder in which an individual’s thoughts and emotions are so impaired that reality appears to be non-existent. Commonly, such health issues are spotted in an individual through psychotic episodes and according to the NHS these can be things such as hallucinations, delusions, confusion and disturbed thoughts along with individuals gaining a lack of insight and self-awareness.

Drugs in particular are known to trigger psychotic mental health issues, but a cocktail of both drugs and alcohol can have twice as much of an impact. The main drugs known to cause effects are cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine. Psychosis is something that also can be related to self harming and suicide. According to the NHS over half of people who die from suicide have a history of self-harming with links to drugs and alcohol issues. The UK is known to have one of the highest rates of self-harming in Europe with 400 in 100,000 self-harming and it’s also been reported that in 2016 6,188 suicides were registered in the UK and 451 in the Republic of Ireland.

 How can Randox Testing Services help?

At Randox Testing Services we are at the forefront of alcohol and drug testing. We aim to spread the message of alcohol and drug misuse and the effects substance abuse can have on individuals and businesses.

Alcohol / drug consumption can be a danger to the person consuming the substances well as their family, friends and work colleagues. We work across a wide range of sectors within business and family law. Across these sectors there are huge ramifications of alcohol and drug abuse for all involved and the detection of positive results is crucial.

For more information on our products and services or how we can help call +44 (0) 28 9445 1011  or email,