To most people, the effects of drugs and alcohol on the user are obvious. They may act out, become violent, and get into verbal altercations or simply act like a different person. Drugs and alcohol can intensify behaviors. Take someone who has trouble with controlling his temper. Give him drugs or alcohol and he may become extremely violent. On the other hand, the user may feel that drugs change his personality for the better. For example, a normally shy person may drink alcohol and then become talkative and outgoing, allowing them to put their insecurities behind them. This may seem like a positive effect, but the truth is that it is not. When a person takes drugs, the feelings of pain, stress and anxiety are blocked or masked by the high. The brain will begin to crave these feelings of euphoria, and that is when addiction becomes a problem.
Prescription Drugs Pose Same Risk
Just because prescription medications are legal, doesn’t mean that they don’t affect the body in the same way that illicit drugs do. Anytime there are different chemicals introduced to the body, there is going to be a change in the way the body and mind works. High school and college students who want to improve their academic performance commonly abuse Adderall, a drug prescribed for those diagnosed with ADHD.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, although the most common side effects with drugs like Adderall have to do with ones sleep and appetite, there is substantial evidence that it can affect a persons personality. As the effects of the drug wear off, it is not unusual to experience feelings of tiredness, moodiness, anger and irritability. Hallucinations have also been reported in rare cases. One student who was using Adderall admitted that she experienced dramatic emotional changes. For example, she spoke of an emotional breakdown that happened in the middle of the library, in which she burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying. She also said that she experienced multiple panic attacks during the time that she was using Adderall, in which she finally made the smart decision to discontinue its use. What’s even scarier is that drugs like these are extremely addictive.
Advice For Parents
The emotional changes that drugs can cause may happen right away, or more slowly. This is dangerous because parents may not notice the signs of drug use in their child, until it is too late. The best way to help a child from the effects of drugs is to prevent them from ever using drugs. Parents can inform themselves about the effects of drugs and alcohol and then pass on that information to their children. For example, parents can explain to their teens how the brain works and that it is extremely sensitive to chemicals such as drugs and alcohol. Parents can practice ways to avoid risky situations and peer pressure from peers.
Parents should also make themselves aware of the drugs that are trendy within the local communities and learn the signs of use.
For more information on this topic watch this video on how drugs change personality.