The Impact of Addiction on Mental Health: Breaking the Cycle

The importance of mental health with individuals fighting any kind of addiction is definitely something that’s not talked about enough online. Whether it’s alcohol or even a coffee addition – these unwanted and harmful habits can have consequences of incredible proportions on our mental health.

5 Major Impact of Addiction on Mental Health

It’s time to break the cycle and inquire about how we can get through these difficult times and work on our well-being. In today’s article, we’ll get into the delicate topic of the impact addiction has on mental health
and some tips on how to take the first steps toward healing.

Lower Self-Esteem

Although many people take different substances to increase their self-esteem, the line between helping you and detriment to your health is extremely thin. Let’s take alcohol addiction as an example. You surely know someone who began drinking alcohol in order to loosen up in the crowd and be more cheerful and fun around people.

Before you know it – this can turn into a serious addiction, leading to the inevitable – alcohol rehabilitation. Once someone gets to this point, there’s no turning back. And the length of this treatment depends on how severe the case is. The individual could spend 30, 60, 90, or more days in the program. The self-esteem of individuals indulging in any addictive substance will undoubtedly become even lower. They might start feeling even worse than when they started – their mental health will deteriorate, and they’ll start feeling ashamed of having to take it in the first place. It’s truly a vicious cycle.

Anxiety & Depression

At least 31% of people around the world have experienced anxiety at least once in their lives. Extreme depressive episodes affect nearly 17 million American adults. These are huge numbers to start with – and we can all agree on that. Addictions play a major role in increasing the chances of developing anxiety and depression. For instance, constant alcohol and drug use are the two most prominent addictions that will not only increase but accelerate the process of developing severe mental health issues.

Although people take these substances in order to “elevate their spirits,” the outcome is the complete opposite. The most visible and common symptoms of anxiety are feeling restless, stressed all of the time, trembling, sweating, and so on. Anxious people will also have a lot of trouble concentrating on one task.

Regarding depression, the most note-worthy symptoms are extreme feelings of hopelessness, guilt-related feelings, being on the verge of tears most of the time, and so on.

Suicidal Thoughts

The combination of alcohol and depression significantly contributes to developing suicidal thoughts. In a research conducted in 2021, 12.3 million American adults expressed having suicidal thoughts. This is a sensitive topic that can’t be emphasized enough.

People who have been fighting addiction for a while have at least once had suicidal thoughts – and they have either shared their experience with someone or not. Either way – these extreme cases should be discussed more among individuals, and healthcare facilities and professionals should devote more of their time to helping individuals go through these hard times.


Individuals who have been dealing with any kind of addiction during their life are more prone to isolation than someone who hasn’t. This is because the addiction creates a whole new world, and the individual no longer feels safe or comfortable around people in their daily lives.

It’s important to mention that self-isolation can be extremely harmful and damaging to your mental as well as physical health. This may contribute to developing suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and increased feelings of loneliness.

Impulsive Behaviour

Different additions have different effects and consequences; however, one thing is certain – all of them contribute to impulsive behaviour. Individuals who have problems with addictive substances are more likely to engage in poorly-calculated situations that might physically or mentally hurt them. The outcome of this is usually a long-term injury. For instance, overuse of cannabis, opiates, and cocaine promotes extreme impulsive
behaviour among individuals.


Last but not least, individuals fighting addiction can experience intense episodes of hallucinations, delusions, and impaired thinking. Without a doubt – this can have a detrimental impact on an individual’s physical and mental health.

Incorrect and unmonitored use of sleeping pills, antidepressants, and even muscle relaxants can cause common hallucinations. The more common the episodes, the worse the mental health.

To conclude it would be fair to say that there are various unwanted effects that addictions can have on
an individual. Decreased self-esteem, anxiety and depression, suicidal thoughts, isolation, impulsive behaviour, and psychosis are all caused by different addictive substances. All of these have a tremendous impact on an individual’s daily life, and can significantly deteriorate their health – both physical and mental.
However, as long as they’re talked among and awareness is raised – there is hope.

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