The Emotional Effects of Drug Addiction

The Emotional Effects of Drug Addiction

The Emotional Effects of Drug Addiction

Addiction, alcoholism, and substance abuse can be harmful to your mind and body.

While many people understand how addiction hurts your appearance or other physical changes that take place due to prolonged substance use, the emotional effects of drug addiction and alcoholism are often less understood. Learn common emotional effects of addiction and how to heal at our center for drug and alcohol treatment in Boca.

What Addiction Does to Your Emotions

Addiction typically exists hand in hand with negative emotions like depression, anxiety, loneliness, and even anger. When a person who is struggling with addiction or alcoholism feels these negative emotions, they often abuse substances to quell the emotions. Then as withdrawal sets in, the emotions worsen, and they must use more just to feel normal.

The emotional challenges aren’t limited to withdrawal; people often experience greater difficulty controlling their emotions at all stages of alcoholism and addiction. The very mechanisms of addiction, cravings, and impulse are linked to changes in the brain that only intensify as the addiction continues.1 People who are struggling with addiction may face heightened feelings of sadness, anxiety, worthlessness, and anger.

Active addiction can worsen existing mental health challenges, such as anxiety. The very mechanisms that reinforce drug abuse in brain regions like the amygdala can also enhance problems like anxiety through the same pathways that reinforce addiction.2 As a person’s addiction worsens, their emotional challenges and changes often worsen as well.

Emotional Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

Different substances affect the brain and emotions in different ways. Prescription drugs, such as prescription opiates, lead to a different set of emotional changes. Opiates, for example, are prescription drugs that can lead to striking emotional changes. Long-term opiate use was found to alter blood flow between both hemispheres of the brain, with one hemisphere receiving slightly more blood than the other. In patients who have greater blood flow in the right hemisphere of the brain, these blood flow changes caused by opiate abuse are linked to more negative moods.3 Other prescription drugs like benzos are also associated with emotional changes like mood swings, increased anxiety, and depression.

Treating the Emotional Effects of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

At Banyan Treatment Centers Boca Raton, we are here to help our patients heal from the numerous effects of addiction. This includes support for the physical effects of substance abuse as well, such as addiction’s effects on the skeletal and nervous system.

Healing the emotional damage done by addiction and alcoholism requires dedication, therapy, and support. We are proud to offer the services and guidance our patients need to get and stay healthy.


Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.