Abusing drugs during a party has a negative impact on physical and mental health. Understanding the impact of party or club drugs on the brain and body provides an opportunity to avoid the substances or seek treatment for substance abuse and addiction.
Effect of Party Drugs on the Brain
Party drugs, like MDMA (also referred to as “ecstasy” or “molly) and LSD impact chemical balances in the brain. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1), ecstasy impacts the serotonin pathways. Since serotonin impacts that regulation of certain processes in the brain, abusing ecstasy or similar party drugs impacts the way that the body and mind react to certain activities.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (1) explains that serotonin plays an essential role in the way that neurons communicate. When drugs impact the levels of serotonin in the brain, it causes negative effects.
The processes that serotonin regulates include:
- Appetite or hunger
- Sleep patterns
- Personal perceptions of the world or environment
When party drugs impact the serotonin pathways, they cause changes to the way that individuals think, behave and even eat. Since it also impacts mood and personal emotions, drugs like molly and LSD contribute to depression, anxiety and related mental health disorders. Although many party drugs impact serotonin, some drugs also impact dopamine and norepinephrine levels.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (2) explains that MDMA actually increases the activity of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. As a result, the individual experiences changes to his or her perceptions. Unfortunately, it also has long-term consequences because it depletes the brain of important chemicals, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2).
Impact on Mental Health
Since substance abuse and addiction depletes the chemicals in the brain, long-term mental health effects develop over time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (3), club drugs like molly and LSD cause negative side effects on mental health shortly after an individual abuses the substance.
Short-term mental health effects of party drugs include:
- Insomnia or changes to sleep patterns
- Enhanced sensory perceptions or mild hallucinations
[message type=”info”]The short-term effects do not always persist if an individual stops using the substance; however, the problems worsen over time. Long-term abuse of party drugs results in long-term side effects. In some cases, the drugs alter the brain and long-term mental health consequences develop.[/message]
Long-term mental health effects include:
- Confusion that persists or lasts for an extended period of time
- Problems with attention or symptoms that are similar to ADD
- Moderate to severe depression
- Poor memory
Party drugs have a negative effect on mental and physical health. Changing personal perceptions and taking substances at a party increases the risk of severe mental health disorders, physical health concerns and even death.
Abusing drugs at a party is a dangerous activity. When you are concerned about a loved one’s behavior, can’t tell if they are using drugs, or if you want to avoid substance abuse in the future, talk to an addiction treatment specialist. An addiction to party drugs has long-term consequences, especially if it persists for an extended period of time. Fortunately, treatment is available to help with the recovery process.
To learn more about the danger of party drugs and our addiction treatment services, give us a call at 877-466-0620.
- How Does Ecstasy Work: Serotonin Pathways in the Brain, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, January 2007, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/neurobiology-ecstasy/section-ii/1-how-does-ecstasy-work-serotonin-pathways-in-brain
- Drug Facts: MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly), The National Institute on Drug Abuse, September 2013, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasy-or-molly
- Commonly Abused Drugs, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, February 2015, http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs