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How Drugs Can Really Alter Your Brain

by Grace » on May 20, 2019 0

You’ve heard the speech time and time again, drugs can have significant negative impacts on your overall health. You’ve seen the countless videos and campaigns highlighting the consequences of addiction – but you’ve always felt incredibly disconnected from the people featured in those campaigns. Of course, you’re sympathetic towards the victims of substance abuse, but you’re not like them. You’re just an average person, what’s one carefree night on the town, right?

A new series of images begs to differ. In a recent study, Lakeview health illustrated exactly how drugs and alcohol can directly damage your brain. The brain is a part of the body that is used for literally everything you do – including reading this article right now. In other words, this is definitely not a body part you want to mess with.

The brain is incredibly complex and sensitive. This means that one casual night to ‘take the edge off’ could quickly lead to dependence and long term, permanent damage. And this damage comes in more forms than one – from your hippocampus to your basal ganglia, there are over a dozen different areas of the brain that are susceptible to drugs. But in case you weren’t paying any more attention in your Anatomy 101 course than I was, let’s break that down.

Depending on the type of drugs, over time usage can lead to loss of vision, memory, problem solving skills, empathy, control… the list goes on. What’s even scarier is the fact that drug usage triggers the limbic system to constantly crave more, leading to a viciously inescapable cycle.

Despite the fact that alcohol is legal and extremely common, excessive use can inhibit brain functioning, memory making ability, problem solving skills, balance and coordination. If you’re thinking that sounds a lot like being drunk – you’re right. Those characteristics of being drunk can turn into long term effects that haunt you 24/7.

Maybe that doesn’t seem so bad, people get drunk for leisure all the time, right? But imagine drunkenness being a state you can never escape. All of the things you can’t do when you’re drunk – such as remembering your last moves or comprehending a basic conversation – would remain a challenge at all times. Getting drunk doesn’t seem nearly as enticing knowing you can’t wake up the next day, drink a bottle of water and move on with your life.

Moral of the story is: everyone was right to preach the importance of drug and alcohol abstinence. While the high of one wild night out may sound fun, the negative consequences simply aren’t worth it.

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