Addiction and Memory Loss

Addiction and Memory Loss

Addiction and Memory Loss

Substance abuse affects many brain functions, including memory. It can create both short- and long-term effects, like irreversible memory problems that persist even after addiction treatment ends. California drug addicts need professional help to get and stay clean from drug abuse.

How Drug Abuse Affects Memory

The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for memory. It controls the formation of new memories and the process of retaining long-term ones. If the hippocampus is damaged, memory loss may result. Many problems can damage the hippocampus and cause memory loss, such as drug and alcohol abuse. Drugs and alcohol impact the brain’s hippocampus when abused, so California drug addicts will probably suffer from memory problems as a result.

Many people are aware of the short-term memory problems associated with alcohol and drug abuse; heavy drug abuse often results in users blacking out, meaning they have no recollection of what happened while they were intoxicated. But, drug abuse can cause more memory problems than simply blacking out, as substance abuse can damage the hippocampus enough that users experience serious memory loss. Drug users may lose the ability to create new memories, struggle to recall ones from before drug abuse began and they may forget long-term memories, like how to ride a bike. Some of this damage can be reversed, but some memory problems are irreversible, even after California residents receive professional treatment.

The severity of memory loss often depends upon what substance was abused, how long the abuse occurred, whether or not addiction formed, how severe the drug abuse was, the user’s health and more. The following substances can cause serious memory loss when abused:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Marijuana
  • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Antidepressants
  • Sleep-aids, including eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Painkillers like fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet)

Aside from memory loss, substance abuse can increase the risk of addiction due to its effects on memory. When California residents abuse drugs to feel good, the brain immediately connects the substance with wellbeing. Later on, the memory alone of using the substance will create the emotion that occurred during its use, which means the stronger the drug high, the stronger the emotional memory. People can literally think of or see a place where they drank alcohol, which cues a positive memory about drinking, which triggers drug cravings. It is difficult to treat drug abuse and resulting memory problems, but it must be done for users to find long-term recovery.

Find Treatment for Drug Abuse and Memory Problems

It is never too late to find addiction recovery. The sooner you decide to regain control over your life, the easier the road to recovery will be. Treatment centers understand the many issues that coincide with addiction, so they focus not only on treating the addiction, but also on the issues that result from substance abuse.

If you live in California and would like to heal from addiction, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now. Our admissions coordinators can discuss addiction, treatment and recovery, and they can even connect you with the treatment services that fit your particular needs. Call today to learn more.

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