Slurred Speech

Slurred Speech as a Result of Drug Addiction

Slurred speech is medically referred to as Dysarthria. You have dysarthria when you are unable to pronounce your words well, you mumble and mix-up your words and/or there is a change in your natural rhythm and speed when you are talking. These situations result in a general incoherence in your speech, to a point that people can hardly make sense of what you are saying.

What Is Slurred Speech?

Dysarthria usually happens because the organs that control speech have been affected. The tongue, mouth, vocal cords, and the brain are the organs responsible for well-articulated and clear speech. Once these organs are affected, it means that you will have a problem articulating your words.

Your experience of slurred speech may happen suddenly or gradually, it may be permanent or temporary. Exactly how it turns out depends on what brought it about in the first place.

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The Possible Causes of Slurred Speech

Slurred speech isn’t considered an ailment in itself. When you, or a loved one, is experiencing slurred speech, it is always a symptom, or the aftermath, of something else. And, there are many possibilities.

Prominent among the causes is drug addiction, or abuse, and/or drug withdrawal. Anxiety can also cause your speech to be slurred. Besides anxiety or drug abuse or addiction, slurred speech can be invoked by abnormal health conditions. Some of these include cerebral palsy, head injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumour, Lyme disease, and many more.

How Does Drug Use Cause Slurred Speech?

If you overdose on drugs like cocaine, caffeine, or heroin, your speech may become slurred. The same thing could happen if you are intoxicated with alcohol. You end up taking an excess quantity of a drug, usually because you’ve been taking it for a while and it has become less effective. So, you wish to increase the quantity to get the results that you were used to before. In the process, you give your body a higher dose than it can deal with, and this could make your speech slurred.

Your speech can also become slurred when you withdraw from drugs or alcohol after taking them for a long time. In this case, slurred speech becomes a symptom of drug withdrawal. However, slurred speech isn’t the only symptom of withdrawal and addiction. There are many others, and if there is no expert intervention, there is every possibility of a relapse occurring.

The Effects of Slurred Speech

When your speech is slurred, you will be affected in many ways. For one thing, all of your social engagements, interactions, and relationships with people will be affected.  That happens because slurred speech makes it difficult, if not impossible, for you to communicate, and when you cannot communicate, your relationships with people are bound to be affected. 

For another, slurred speech could be a harbinger of more troubles to come, in the case of drug intoxication or withdrawal, for instance. Other symptoms like depression and cravings for more drugs may soon surface.

Is There a Way Out?

The way out is for you, or your loved one, to get medical help as soon as you notice sudden changes in your ability to speak. This will help prevent slurred speech from setting in for the long term. If, on the other hand, your speech is already slurred, you should still seek expert help so that, whatever the underlying cause is, it can be identified and treated.

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