Soba New Jersey Drug & Alcohol Rehab Logo

The Impact of Substance Abuse on Cognitive Function

The Impact of Substance Abuse on Cognitive Function

These are processes by which the mind can accomplish tasks and interact with our surroundings effectively. 

It is a broad term that includes memory, attention, problem-solving, decision-making, and language skills integral to leading a fulfilling life. 

Nevertheless, substance use disorder can be very destructive to these essential functions, making it impossible for the affected individual to stop using drugs or alcohol despite their consequences. 

Keep reading to learn more about the damaging impact of substance abuse on cognitive function and what treatment options are available to improve mental functioning!

The Damaging Impact of Substance Abuse on Cognitive Function

Whether involving alcohol, opioids, or stimulants, the impact of drug abuse on cognitive function can have dire consequences. 

In excessive amounts, these alcohol and drugs disrupt normal brain functioning by altering neurotransmitter balance, which affects cognition and behavior. 

For example, excessive drinking can cause loss of memory and difficulty in coordinating movement, while cocaine usage may result in poor decision-making and impaired motor skills.

There is also research showing that chronic drug abuse leads to severe mental health problems, such as drug-induced psychosis, which is characterized by hallucinations and delusions. 

A study found that extended use of methamphetamine could lead to brain changes associated with cognitive deficits and psychosis.

Long-Term Effects and Sobriety Challenges

Accordingly, the impact of substance abuse on cognitive function does not only translate into immediate losses but also has devastating long-term effects. 

Chronic drug misuse results in permanent damage to the brain, hence seriously affecting reasoning capacity, memory formation ability as well as knowledge retention capacity. 

The long-lasting cognitive impairments hinder recovery maintenance chances apart from causing poor treatment outcomes as well as contributing towards high relapse rates. 

It’s, therefore, essential for clients to understand the far-reaching impact substance abuse has on cognitive functioning so that prevention would be accorded priority.

Recovery and Repair: Psychotherapeutic Interventions and Cognitive Therapies

Nevertheless, it is possible to recover as well as repair cognitive damage that has been caused by substance abuse. 

Various psychotherapeutic interventions and cognitive therapies have been developed to help individuals in addiction recovery regain their cognitive functions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT

One popular technique commonly used in drug addiction treatment is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). 

This enables clients to identify and modify harmful ways of thinking, acting, and reacting that are typically associated with substance use.

Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET)

Similarly, Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) involves computer-based cognitive training and social cognitive exercises, which have demonstrated efficacy in addressing cognitive deficits among persons with substance use disorder.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Another treatment modality, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), focuses on developing skills to cope with stress and regulate emotions. 

It is effective in reducing substance use and improving overall functioning.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Moreover, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a combination of mindfulness techniques and cognitive therapy, has shown decreased relapse rates and improved well-being among people living with addictions.

The Importance of a Personalized Approach

It is worth noting that although these treatments have shown that they can enhance cognition, the way a person would respond to them could vary from one individual to another. 

Hence, treatment plans should not be general but tailored to an individual’s needs.

Supporting Cognitive Health Throughout the Recovery Process

Therapy is not the only way to support cognitive health during recovery.

Healthy Habits for the Brain

Consequently, maintaining healthy habits like routine workouts, proper nutrition, and having enough sleep may enhance the cognitive capability of people recovering from substance abuse. 

Additionally, these habits help regulate moods, reduce stress, and promote general wellness.

Getting Professional Help

If you or your loved one has been damaged mentally by drug use problems, professional help must be sought immediately. 

A qualified therapist or treatment program could provide personalized assistance in enhancing cognitive functioning and overall recovery.

Sustained Commitment to Cognitive Health

Therefore, individuals in recovery need to improve their cognitive health through treatment. 

This includes incorporating brain-stimulating activities into one’s daily routine and focusing on developing good habits, including continued support via therapy and support groups.

SOBA NJ Offers Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

If you are suffering from substance abuse or any person close to you has the same issue, then always remember that there is hope at SOBA NJ.

We are an independent rehab facility in New Jersey offering a full continuum of addiction care ranging from detox services, residential treatment, and outpatient care to sober living

We have highly qualified personnel who prioritize helping people with addiction get over their addictions and lead normal lives again.

Don’t let the impact of substance abuse on cognitive function continue ruling your life and causing more harm to your mind. 
Reach out to us now at SOBA NJ today as you take the first step towards recovery and fixing your cognitive ability.

There is a Better Way to Live. It's Time to Get the Help You Deserve.

Take the first step in getting your life back. Speak with our admissions team today.
Contact Us