How do addictions affect mental health and crime?

How do addictions affect mental health and crime?
February 11, 2024 – 00:00

Addictions affect the mental health of people who suffer from them and the people around them, since they alter their cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social functioning.

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The mental health It is the state of well-being that allows us to think, feel and act positively, adapt to changes, relate to others and face life’s challenges. Mental health is part of our integral health and has to do with our history, our culture, our family, our environment and our experiences.

The mental health It is important because it influences our happiness, our self-esteem, our learning capacity, our creativity, our productivity and our social participation. When we have a good mental healthwe can enjoy life, develop our potential and contribute to society.

What are addictions and how do they affect mental health?

The addictions They are a type of mental disorder that is characterized by physical or psychological dependence on a substance, an activity or a person, which generates an uncontrollable desire, a loss of control and a denial of negative consequences. Addictions can be to substances such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs or medications, or to activities such as gambling, shopping, sex or social media, etc.

The addictions affect the mental health of the people who suffer from them and the people around them, since they alter their cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social functioning. People with addictions may have problems with memory, attention, concentration, reasoning, judgment, impulsivity, anxiety, depression, irritability, aggressiveness, isolation, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, difficulties in relating, working, studying, and meeting expectations. their responsibilities.

Some examples of addictions are alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction, gambling addiction, shopping compulsion, food addiction or any other consumer addiction which can be considered compulsive.

These addictions can have serious consequences for the mental health of people who suffer from an addiction, influencing the way the addicted person relates to themselves, the way they relate to others, confront problems, and make decisions. and enjoy life.

Addictions can affect mental health in several ways, such as:

  • Altering the normal functioning of the brain and causing changes in mood, memory, attention, learning, judgment, perception and behavior3.
  • Generating physical or psychological dependence, that is, the need to consume more and more to obtain the same effect or to avoid the discomfort caused by withdrawal.
  • Causing or aggravating mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.
  • Affecting self-esteem, confidence, motivation, self-efficacy and meaning in life3.
  • Deteriorating family, social, work and educational relationships.
  • Decreasing self-control, reasoning, responsibility and awareness of the consequences of actions.
  • Increasing impulsivity, aggressiveness, irritability and sensation seeking
  • In the case of problematic drug and alcohol consumption, it can cause states of alteration, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations or delusions that can lead to acting in an irrational or dangerous way.
  • Generating situations of need, desperation, frustration, isolation, marginalization or social exclusion that can lead to resorting to illicit or violent activities to obtain resources, satisfy consumption or escape from reality.
  • Exposing people to risk environments or groups where access, consumption and trafficking of substances is facilitated, as well as participation in crimes or conflicts,

Some examples of behavior in conflict with the law are theft, violence, vandalism, trafficking or possession of illegal drugs, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, among others.

Addictions, mental health and behaviors in conflict with the law are three aspects that are related to each other and that can affect the quality of life of the people who suffer from them and the people around them. Therefore, it is important to prevent, detect and treat problematic consumption, as well as promote mental health and peaceful and respectful coexistence in society.

“Addictions must be addressed from a health perspective and not a police or criminalizing approach, because the person who goes through this circumstance has a health problem,” maintain the recommendations for the media treatment of problematic use of legal and illegal drugs.

President of CIMACUP – UAI Professor

Source: Ambito

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