5 Ways Addiction Changes Your Personality

This post was most recently updated on March 13th, 2023

A person’s health, happiness, relationships, and prosperity may all suffer as a result of their addiction. The most alarming aspect of addiction is the way it alters your brain. 

Brain imaging studies imply that chronic drug use alters brain structure by causing changes in neurotransmitter levels. As per laguna beach rehab these alterations may cause the following changes in behaviour and character.

mood swings

1. Stricter Confidentiality Measures

Substance abuse problems may alter a person’s personality in many ways. This is due to a number of factors. One is that it’s not a good idea to be too open about taking narcotics, since many of them are illegal. Another is that, deep down, most people realize that drug and alcohol abuse have become a serious social issue. 

They don’t want their friends and family to know how much they’re using or even if they’re using. In general, this makes people wary. There’s always a chance of slip-ups occurring when one is concerned with a drug, as occurs often in addiction. Therefore, it is frequently simpler to just not divulge a lot of what you’ve been up to. 

This puts a strain on relationships and may cause distrust and suspicion.

2. Disappearing Interest in things enjoyed earlier 

Substance abuse takes precedence over everything else in an addict’s life. As a result, everything else must take a back seat. All of your social, professional, and personal commitments count here. This is bad for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that the activities we like doing are frequently essential to who we are as individuals. 

How you spend your leisure time says a lot more about you than the job you have. 

You can lose a lot of who you are and what you value in life if you give up rock climbing and instead spend all your leisure time drinking. There’s more than one reason why you could lose interest in past hobbies. Loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities is a common sign of sadness, which may be brought on or made worse by addiction.

The effects of depression on one’s personality are comparable to those of addiction. That’s why it’s important to go through alcohol detox in a controlled and medically assisted environment.

3. Anxiety and Depression

Depression, anxiety, or both, are common side effects of addiction. Conditions like depression and anxiety can arise together with drug abuse problems. Addiction is a common cause, and studies have shown that same symptoms may also arise afterward. 

Substance abuse alters neurochemical processes in the brain, which may result in negative physiological and psychological consequences such as rebound effects and a lack of ability to control emotions. 

Anxiety and despair may be momentarily alleviated by alcohol, but as soon as your blood alcohol level drops, your symptoms will likely return much worse than before, forcing you to drink again simply to feel “normal.” Individuals who struggle with addiction typically experience emotions of powerlessness and despair because of the way their behaviour has been entrenched in their disease. 

Depression and anxiety are common outcomes of the stigmatization that typically accompanies drug use problems.


4. An Act of Extreme Risk

Addiction may cause a person to act in ways they never imagined they would. The causes of this phenomenon are many. When someone with a substance use problem is desperately seeking drugs or alcohol, they may disregard ethical considerations in favour of becoming high or drunk. 

They could beg, steal, or shoplift in order to finance their habit. Such actions are inconceivable apart from the addiction. There are a wide variety of ways in which different chemicals might impair judgment. California rehab helps you sort through these facilities.

The most typical substance used as an example is alcohol. Drinking regularly increases the likelihood that you will engage in risky behaviour because of the impaired judgment that comes with it. Mistaken confidence or paranoia brought on by the use of other substances like cocaine or methamphetamine may also contribute to dangerous situations. 

Methamphetamine in particular has been linked to unsafe sexual behaviour and an increased risk of infection.

5. Mood Swings

Substance abuse, as said before, disrupts normal brain function. For instance, cocaine use dramatically raises levels of the reward chemical dopamine in the brain, leaving users feeling depressed as the drug wears off. Initially, alcohol may help reduce anxiety, but eventually, the brain may overcorrect, making the anxiety much worse than before. 

As a consequence, the number of drugs in your body has a significant impact on how you feel. 

A few hours of peace and quiet might be followed by a bout of anger and aggression. The fluctuations are typically more extreme than usual. Long-term drug abuse, according to some brain imaging studies, may cause regions of the prefrontal cortex important for emotional control to atrophy. 

The outcome is not just a loss of emotional control but also fluctuating amounts of neurotransmitters.

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Written by Dr. Ganga Sapkota
Updated on March 13, 2023

A graduated medical physician with years of experience in the medical field. Working as a full-time physician in Puspanjali Hospital, Chitwan, Nepal.