The Connection Between Drug Abuse and the Mental Health of Students

Drug abuse which is medically referred to as substance use disorder is caused by the chronic use of addictive substances. Cannabis, hallucinogens, cocaine, opioids, and alcohol are all considered drugs. People who suffer from substance use disorder persistently take drugs despite negative consequences. That is why it is often referred to as addiction.

Drugs affect the brain and body and can have a variety of impacts. Long-lasting and permanent health problems are among some of a drug’s side effects. Even after the person has stopped using the drug, the effects might still persist.

The Connection Between Drug Abuse and the Mental Health of Students

Students who use drugs or alcohol regularly sometimes struggle with a wide range of issues, including peer problems, poor peer connections on campus, academic difficulties, and engagement with the juvenile criminal system. There are also repercussions for the neighborhood, the family, and society as a whole.

Due to the rise in drug use among students, a lot of schools have adopted several methods to teach their students about the implications of drug use. They do so by organizing public lectures, telling students to write essays on drug abuse, involving them in some public debates, and more. All these are done to educate students on drug use.

Why is the Drug Problem Still Relevant?

Drug abuse is still a major problem in the world today. In a study carried out in 2018, it was revealed that approximately 28.6 million Americans from 12 years and above struggle with substance abuse. That goes to show how big of a problem drug abuse is in the world we live in.

Below are some facts you should know about drug abuse:

  • The most popular illicit drugs in the world, after marijuana, are prescription medications
  • In one month, 4.3 million Americans used prescription drugs for purposes other than what they were prescribed
  • Nearly 2 million Americans in 2014 fit the criteria for prescription medication use disorder, according to SAMHSA
  • One of the most often abused substances is prescription drugs, which has contributed to an increase in opioid overdoses in the US over the past ten years
  • According to research, the misuse of prescription opioids costs the American economy over $78.5 billion annually

Drug Effects on Mental Health

All drugs have an impact on your mental health in some way. They may have an impact on how you feel, act, and perceive the world.

Generally, illicit drugs tend to have negative side effects. These effects could persist for a little moment or for a while. Some of these effects could last even after the drug has stopped working. These have been revealed in many studies and examples of essays on drug abuse.

Here you can find some of the most common side effects illicit drugs have on mental health.


It is commonly known that substance misuse and violent behavior are related. According to one study and a sample of essay written by a mental health expert, more than 26% of respondents who admitted to using cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol over the previous 12 months also admitted to committing a violent crime during that time.

Some people steal money aggressively in order to buy more drugs, while others might be involved in the drug trade, which frequently results in violent crimes. Others experience violence as a long-term adverse effect of their drug use.

Of all substances, alcohol has the strongest correlation to violent behavior. In fact, approximately half of all violent crimes and sexual assaults include someone who is severely intoxicated.


One of the symptoms that a person may experience when they abuse drugs regularly over time, get addicted to them, or go through withdrawal is paranoia. Even when they are alone, they start to experience this sense of danger or impending damage more frequently. As a result, they may find it difficult to trust others or to feel at ease in a familiar setting.

Impaired Judgment

All kinds of illicit drugs would normally have a negative impact on the person using them, and the effects can either be mild or severe. However, one of the most common problems caused by drug abuse is impaired judgment.

Every side effect of drug abuse has the potential to be harmful, impaired judgment can be particularly harmful to a person’s physical, psychological, and social well-being.

Loss of Self-Control

Long-term use of some illegal substances can cause a dopamine deficit and obsessive drug-seeking behavior. Because they have little control over how much they have, once an addict gets going, it can be difficult for them to stop. When hooked, a person may lose awareness of time or other responsibilities they may have.

What Measures Are Taken to Solve the Problem?

Similar to the majority of chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treating drug addiction typically does not result in a full recovery. Addiction can, however, be effectively treated and controlled. Addicts who are in recovery run the risk of relapsing for several years, if not their entire life. According to research, individuals have the best chance of success when using a combination of behavioural therapy and medications for drug addiction. Treatments that are specifically designed for each patient’s drug use history and any co-occurring physical, mental, and social issues can promote long-term recovery.

The fact that drug abuse and addiction are preventable is more good news. According to the findings of research supported by NIDA, drug addiction and abuse can be prevented or reduced through the implementation of prevention programs that involve families, communities, the media, and schools.

Though personal experiences and cultural influences have an impact on drug use patterns, young individuals tend to cut back on their drug usage when they perceive drugs as hazardous. In order to educate people and let them comprehend the potential consequences of drug abuse, education and outreach are crucial. To educate children and prevent drug usage and addiction, parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals have critical responsibilities and roles to play.


Drug abuse is a common problem among young people, especially students in a university. It affects their academic performance in school and social life. It may also lead to major psychological problems such as personality disorders, depression, suicidal thoughts, and even suicide. It is a global issue that must be completely eradicated.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 22, 2023

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