"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"
Drugs and Mental Health

Do drugs effect my mental health

Drugs used for recreational purposes, will mess with your mind (and to be honest that’s what they are designed to do) but sometimes and for some people the effects are not what you expected.

Cannabis

Cannabis is a natural substance from a plant commonly known as hemp. It comes in a solid dark lump known as resin or as leaves, stalks and seeds called grass and also as a sticky oil (which is very rare).

How can it affect my Mental Health? Cannabis can affect short-term memory and ability to concentrate. It can also make some users paranoid and anxious, depending on their mood and situation.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a white flaky powder obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. It is odourless (in other words it has no smell) soluble (which means it can dissolve in water) and has powerful stimulant properties.

How can it affect my Mental Health? Anxiety, paranoia and depression are all possible if using Cocaine. Struggling to get to sleep and concentrate are also side effects. People who use can develop a strong psychological dependence to cocaine (which means you think you need it) and often taking more in order to deal with the comedown.

Ecstasy

Ecstasy is made up of a mixture of drugs, including a synthetic drug called MDMA, and is classed as a hallucinogenic amphetamine.

How can it affect my Mental Health? Users may experience an initial rush of nervousness and uncertainty and some users have reported a very bad experience on ecstasy experience feelings of paranoia and confusion. It is very common for the user to suffer minor depression in the days following the use of ecstasy and the jury is still out on the long-term psychological effects of ecstasy. Some users have experienced memory problems and struggling to rest and sleep.

LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide is a hallucinogenic drug that comes in tiny squares of paper, often with a ‘fun/cartoon’ picture on one side.

How can it affect my Mental Health? LSD can have a powerful effect on the mind and is often unpredictable. Users tend to experience their surroundings in a very different and strange way, including how they see things, the distortion of objects, movement, vision and even their hearing. To experience hallucinations are also very common when taking LSD and many users have reported that they have experienced flashbacks of past 'trips' for a long time afterwards, some as long as ten years later.

The user could also suffer dizziness, disorientation, fear and paranoia. The likelihood of a bad trip will increase 10 x when users are in a bad mood or anxious or have a history of mental problems.

Speed

Speed (amphetamine) is a stimulant that usually comes in the form of a white or dirty-white powder. It's snorted or dissolved in liquid for injection or drinking, or swallowed in pill form.

How can it affect my Mental Health? Some users can become tense or anxious while on speed. In the short term, memory and concentration are all affected. The comedown (which happens after you have used) can last for a couple of days, leaving users feeling tired, depressed and irritable.

It is possible for long-term users to become dependent on the buzz that Speed gives them. Heavy abuse over long periods has been linked to mental illnesses such as psychosis.

Are some people more at risk than others?

People with existing psychological problems such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia are more at risk of multiplying their complications by taking any of the drugs above.

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