How Do Drugs Affect Memory and Concentration?

Memory and Concentration

There is no question that drugs impact the body in significant ways. Memory and concentration are two major areas of functioning that are affected with drug use, and a person must work diligently to build up these skills over time while in recovery. Drugs affect the brain, which consists of three major areas: the brain stem, the cerebrum, and the cerebellum. The brain stem is responsible for life-sustaining functions such as heart rate, digestion, body temperature and more. The cerebrum makes up about 85% of brain weight and is responsible for decision making and other cognitive abilities. Lastly, the cerebellum is involved in controlling motor functions and balance, language, attention, emotional responses, and more.

The impact of drug use on the brain is dependent on a variety of other factors. Most often, drugs negatively affect memory and concentration alongside other issues such as stress, poor nutrition, depression, and unbalanced sleeping patterns. However, the type of drug used can also determine the impact.

The brain’s hippocampus is what is responsible for storing and retrieving memories. When a person consumes drugs, an influx of dopamine, otherwise known as the chemical that provides feelings of pleasure, is released and over time, the brain comes to memorize the feelings of happiness associated with the drug being taken. Of course, this affects a person’s ability to remember other vital details and to concentrate on unrelated tasks because their brain has become wired to constantly seek out the drug’s effects.

When drugs have significantly affected the brain, a person can lose track of their finances, work responsibilities, and other important tasks. Home life and relationships can suffer, causing a person to focus mainly on obtaining and using the drug of choice. This is what most people refer to as “rock bottom” for when people tend to seek help – because many people do not realize how far they’ve gone for their drug addiction, and a downward event gives them clarity that they need help.

However, “rock bottom” is not always the case, and many people are able to seek out help before their addiction reaches a point to where they lose a lot of important pieces of their life. If you are considering seeking help, do so today. It’s never too late.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re seeking treatment for either substance abuse or dual diagnosis, call us at 888-743-0490. There are many people that can help you develop the tools you need to succeed.