One of the questions that loved ones of people suffering from addiction often find themselves asking is what has happened to that awesome person they used to know. Granted that nothing might have changed physically, drugs can so transform you that your family and friends will find it hard to relate with you as they once did. The truth is: addiction causes personality changes. But what are these and how do they happen?
Neurotransmitters and Addiction
Researchers have observed that changes in levels of neurotransmitters in the brain can cause personality changes due to drug abuse. Ethanol has been observed capable of displacing endorphins and enkephalins in the brain and pituitary at binding sites thereby causing a reduction in levels.
There is evidence that a decline in the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine results in people affected turning to drugs, including alcohol. This they do to enjoy the feeling of euphoria that results from a rise in the levels of certain neurotransmitter.
Continued use of these drugs eventually leads to addiction, at which point almost everything in your life revolves around getting a “fix.”
Personality Changes that Can Result from Addiction
It is possible for some people to easily detect when a person has become dependent on drugs. However, not everybody can easily tell the changes. The following are some of the traits you may observe in a person suffering from drug addiction.
Drugs can make a person feel unconquerable. An unassuming person can suddenly become wild and fierce after using them. You will find yourself taking greater and unreasonable risks after using drugs. The substances promote high-risk behavior, such as unprotected sex, and violence.
Drug users can become talkative from time to time since drugs drive highly energetic behavior. You should suspect drug abuse when you see someone that is usually shy become very social and exceedingly talkative all of a sudden and then return to their shell a short while later. Addicts commonly talk gibberish and are unable to complete a thought, jumping from one topic to another.
Loss of interest in relationships
When there is addiction, the abused substance becomes the focal point of the user’s life. Addicts lose interest in all the relationships they used to maintain, including personal and professional. They pull away from social relationships to be alone or with fellow recreational drug users. It should be noted, though, that withdrawal from a social circle can be caused by other issues as well.
Related to the above, people suffering from drug addiction could be observed disappearing from time to time. They might tell others that they need to use the bathroom or attend to some other urgent tasks. Drug use should especially be suspected when they come back from such disappearances bizarrely happy.
Loss of pleasure
You may find that you no longer find your favorite activities and pastimes exciting after using drug for a while. This is more likely to be the case when the drug of abuse is cocaine in that it interferes with the functioning of parts of the brain responsible for pleasure.
Addiction not only impacts negatively on your life, but also those of your loved ones. It causes you to isolate yourself from others so as to indulge in your risky habit. Thankfully, there are treatment options that can help to roll back these unwelcome changes.