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Substance Abuse and Dementia

Substance Abuse and Dementia

As the rates of substance abuse and dementia increase, more studies are being conducted to analyze how the two are connected.

Commonly abused substances like alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs are associated with different forms of dementia. Whether you’re in college or retirement, you increase your chances of developing dementia and other memory-related conditions when you partake in substance abuse.

At our rehab facility in Massachusetts, we provide various treatments and programs for addiction. We understand the correlation between substance abuse and dementia and can help individuals struggling with addiction get the help they need.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a general term that refers to a person’s inability to remember, think, or make decisions. This condition causes a variety of symptoms that can disrupt the way a person functions in their everyday life. Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of dementia in older adults, although it is not a normal factor of aging. Dementia acts as an umbrella that covers various disorders.

The different types of dementia include:

  • Creutzfeldt- Jakob Disease
  • Lewy Body Dementia
  • Down Syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
  • Posterior Cortical Atrophy
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Korsakoff Syndrome
  • Mixed Dementia

Dementia and substance abuse are a horrible, but common combination. Any form of addiction can negatively impact a person’s life and cause irreversible health repercussions in the future. At Banyan Massachusetts, people who struggle with addiction can get help with our intensive outpatient program.

Can Substance Abuse Cause Dementia?

The connection between dementia and addiction is continuously being researched, and many studies have reported that substance abuse can cause dementia. Substances like alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs have been found to increase a person’s chances of developing dementia. The overconsumption of alcohol can cause alcohol-related brain damage and Korsakoff syndrome. Based on data from hospital admissions, a study in France reported that 38.9% of the cases of early-onset dementia were related to alcohol use and an additional 17.6% had an alcohol use disorder.1 Marijuana is known for deficits in learning, retention, and memory loss, all of which increase the risk of dementia. Long-term use of prescription drugs, including benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium, can lead to dementia.

At Banyan Treatment Centers Massachusetts, we understand how substance abuse and dementia go hand in hand. Dementia can affect you and your loved ones. Anyone who abuses drugs or alcohol is at risk of experiencing their side effects and possible future health problems. We offer a 12-step program to help individuals battling with addiction get sober.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, do not wait to seek treatment. Call us now at 888-280-4763.


  1. TL- Contribution of alcohol use disorders to the burden of dementia in France
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Substance Abuse and Dementia
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