Altered Vacog

Your brain is not just a typical or an irrelevant organ, but the most important one in your body. Your brain is responsible for initiating and coordinating your body; working through virtually every aspect of your day-to-day life. When you engage in consistent substance abuse, your brain has to reprogram itself to understand and accommodate the new chemicals coming in. This can cause damage to your brain.

One of the symptoms of brain complication, as a result of drug use, is altered cognition or cognitive deficit. Your brain finds it hard to carry out normal cognitive processes, such as assimilating, thinking, and understanding. This situation can lead to complications in learning and intelligence and, if not taken care of, can negatively affect every part of your daily life.

The Link between Drug Abuse and Altered Cognition

Studies have shown that drug abuse affects the way your brain functions, such as in decision making, and a collapse of inhibition, making it easier for you to get addicted, or suffer a relapse, during recovery.

When you take drugs in a manner, or dosage level, not recommended by a doctor, or consume illegal substances such as alcohol and cocaine, these substances affects your brain’s dopamine system, causing a false flow of emotional ‘reward’ responses, providing more than enough reason to continue use.

These substances, despite the initial pleasure they give, numb different parts of your brain, while allowing others to work normally, or at elevated levels. This can then result in strange behaviour. You may begin to slur your words, act erratically, have problems moving about, and/or find it difficult to remember who you are, or the day of the week.

As the drugs lose power, and moves out of your body, these symptoms will likely leave also. That doesn’t mean, however, that the drugs leave no traces behind. In fact, continuous and long term abuse of drugs, and other substances, will, over time, result in altered cognition or a cognitive deficit.

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How Do You Know if You Have Altered Cognition?

Everyone has difficulty in thinking or remembering things once in a while, this does not mean this does not mean that everyone has altered cognition. However, if you or someone you know uses drugs and other harmful substances regularly, chances are the symptoms you are experiencing are that of altered cognition relating to drug use.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is a sign that you need to get help immediately.

  • Difficulty remembering names, dates
  • Confusion when you have to make decisions
  • Cannot understand even the simplest of concepts or instructions
  • Making impulsive choices
  • Forgetting important things like appointments, anniversaries, and assignments
  • Getting lost in familiar surroundings or cannot recognise familiar faces.

Getting Help for Altered Cognition

If you, or someone you know, is abusing drugs and has one or more of the symptoms above, then you need to get help fast. There are several methods that can be used to slow down or correct an altered cognition, depending on the length and severity of drug use.

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Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.