Can Drugs Change Your Personality

Clear Treatment


Your personality is an ever-changing mixture of thoughts, emotions and behaviors. It influences how you learn, remember, solve problems, perceive situations, judge and more. It is your reflection to the world and it’s what makes you, you. The interesting part is that the evolvement of your personality began the second you were born and continues to evolve for the rest of your life.


Personality Changes

Your brain is designed to function without added chemical substances, but if you add in psychoactive drugs, like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, you will change the brain’s reward and cognitive functions. The results of which are typically loss of inhibitory control, poor decision-making, and below average learning and memory.


Why Does This Happen?

If you spend too much time doing anything it changes you. But drugs directly affect the brain, and do so pretty much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, unless of course you’re in detox or jail. There is hardly anything else you could do, short of a lesion to the brain, that would change your personality more. The evidence clearly indicates that drug abuse, alcohol abuse and prescription medication side effects are some of the more common causes of conspicuous personality change. The evidence also indicates that drug related personality change is most affected by duration-of-drug-use.

To make matters worse, many drug abusers need to consume their “drug of choice” every single day, and sometimes several times a day, just to feel normal. They are, for the most part, incapable of enjoying life unless they’re under the influence. The bottom line is that they act badly because they feel badly and now the only thing that brings them joy is their drug of choice.


Emotional unhealthiness

The relationship between substance abuse and emotion is emerging as one of the key factors in the development and maintenance of addiction. We know that emotional healthiness is an indicator of a person’s well-being, and that emotional unhealthiness is an indicator of a person’s not-so-well-being. We also know that those who abuse drugs often have emotional problems. Consequently, there is rarely such a thing as an emotionally healthy drug abuser.


Addict Behavior

When a drug addict talks about their negative emotions or risky behaviors they tend to minimize these issues. They may view them as insignificant problems or humorous anomalies. They are, in fact, warning signs of a growing mental health problem.



Written by Kenneth John Nersten, CEO of Clear Detox Center, Inc. and Admissions Director of Clear Treatment.


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