Christina P (Christina Pittman) Essay

Substance abuse negatively impacts people’s Cognition, Behavior, and Emotion

Christina Pittman

Georgia Gwinnett College


This review will primarily focus on how substance abuse can affect your body in a negative way. Substance abuse has been shown to affect people’s cognition, behavior, and emotion. Studies show how certain groups are tested based upon timed test based on their performance based on time skill test, reactions based on whatever substance they are under the influence. There is a wide variety of how substances can effect one’s body because people will react differently, based on how much one has been using.

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In general, the results of the studies, there is agreement that if you know the warning signs and know what to watch out for, people have a better chance of survival if they catch it early on and if they are persistent on following through with proper treatment plans.


Substance abuse disorder is one of the most common disorders among young adolescents and young adults.

Findings show that the majority of those who experience trouble with substance abuse either have a family history or one is “testing” things out to see if it satisfies their craving. Like most diseases, this can be prevented if it is caught early on, not later on down the road (CITE).

During times of substance abuse the effects that come from it, should be terrifying to the point where one should not want to use any longer. Different studies have shown, it has affected cognition, where you the individual hashave delayed reactions and trouble processing information. Behavior is a big one because you never know what type of affect some drugs or alcohol, may have on someone. Everybody has different bodies with different responses to things.


Substance abuse can do a lot of damage in the brain area, especially with cognition because after a while, whatever drug or substance you are using begins to affect your (find part of brain that it affects) and starts slowing down your thought process. The areas that it starts to effect the cerebral cortex, basil ganglia, and the neurotransmitter (CITE). The neurotransmitter is what carries the information and from there, that information is carried to the brain. Then, that is when the brain starts to decline and your responses become slower and slower. You are not able to react like you were or make quick executive decisions at a split second.

People were tested after they were tested in four different areas once they were detoxed. The four different types of test that was administered to the individual was,

Psychologists have discussed how neuropsychological effects prolonged excessive substance abuses that have led to memory deficits. Studies have shown, psychological changes of people who were in the 28 day program, had improving with their web neuroassessment after detox and on the departure day of the program (Lookatch et al., 2017). People’s substance abuse problem that is more detrimental, they are going to have much lower scores. This reason for that is, any time one used for a long period of time, their body is going to decline and start rejecting the drugs. That is when problems start to arise. This review shows that over time with being in a program, helps the individual redirect their thoughts in a positive manner and is able to make more accurate and precise decisions.

In a study by Sampedro-Piquero, P, the focus was on, whether or not healthy treatment and or training will help exert helpful effects in therapeutic training (Sampedro-Piquero,P., 2018). Drug addiction and alcohol kind of runs hand in hand with one another because the effects can be the same. But with drugs, it does a venerable number on parts of the brain. The regions that it affects are the learning and memory regions of the brain. Those areas are called, the cerebrum (learning) and the frontal lobe (memory). Another study shows how addictive behavior affects properties of cognition, as well as attention (Cox et al., 2015). People are motivated by others and their desire to consume alcohol or any other substance is far beyond anyone’s control and no one can make it stop, but the one who is abusing. You cannot force treatment upon one or they are going to be resistant and refuse, ignoring, and hide if you keep pestering them. Cox tells us, that overall, others who succumb to addiction are motivated and are committed to that goal until it is met. This is a very negative thing because of the endless outcomes it can have on someone’s life.

The negative outcome is, you have people who attribute to your behavior and motivation. People have goals that may have zero outcomes, so it is imperative they chose which one that will be perused (Cox et al., 2015). Goals for something like this, is are very hard because, you have people out in the environment who dealstruggle with substance abuse, while trying to maintain goals to not abuse. You get around people who do and in order to feel accepted or what people call “cool”, you have to do the drugs or whatever, in order to fit in. That’s why cox says, people who have a family background, are the ones who will continue to live in that spiral, until one sees the importance between value and expectancy. Cox closes out with people can change over time and they can revise their lives and the goals they have, to overcome and improve effects with greater meaning for their lives, the people that surround them and become less dependent on the use of medications in order to help them change their mood.(Cox et al., 2015).

The fourth study indicates that substance abuse does increase someone’s cognitive performance to a certain degree but not all. Though, it does not happen all the time, it all depends on the individual’s mental health and what they are abusing because certain substance substances have different effect on one’s body. People with depression, PTSD, and nicotine smokers, seemed to be the ones that were effected the most, when it came to cognitive performance (Carrigan and & Barkus 2016). Cognitive failures are because of the multiple mental health disorders one may carry as well as the current usage from current to present usage of the substance. The psychological disorders that have a toll on cognitive failures are: depression, bipolar, generalized anxiety disorder, and schizophrenia. The most consistent effects were found in depression, PTSD, and the daily smokers of nicotine (Carrigan and Barkus, 2016).So, that explains the overlap between psychological problems and substance abuse. Carrigan and Barkus also explain that even though cognitive failure is reported, there is still a lack of consideration for the role substance abuse plays in.


Researchers have concluded that certain behaviors are performed based off the drug, one is using or how much alcohol consumption is being made. The behavior the individual goes through is what we can get next. That is their primary focus; they will keep doing it until they get the desirable consequence (Cox, Klinger, Fadardi, 2015) because they do not care who they are hurting, or what the circumstances are. People have different reactions to what they consume.

Researchers indicate there are certain environmental factors that may play a part in what addiction, one may face. Basically, they want to know what influences them to have the type of addiction; they have (Zilberman et al., 2017). Another study by Murphy and Dennheardt(2016), reviews the prevention and intervention strategies that will help one overcome the behavior complications they face while under the influence or high off of whatever. Young adults between the ages of 18-25 have higher rates of consumption in a setting than any other age group (Murphy and & Dennheardt, 2016). The reason for that is, young adults who go to college are at a higher risk than those who do not. College kids seem to have more freedom because they are out of the house and can do as they please. There is lesser responsibility and structured time of a young adult compared to an adolescent. It is crucial for young adults that go through something like this, have some prevention techniques that will help stop the misuse. It is very alarming when some of the young adults said; the positive effects outweigh the negative impact. Since when did substance abuse become positive? It damages your brain and causes very loopy and dysfunctional behavior in people. More or less, argumentative, grumpy, and mean people. In the end, it is best for one to seek community therapy in order for one to get the positive effects for coming out of the substance use realm.


The first study compares the emotional processing difficulties one has with substance abuse and posttraumatic disorder, to ones that through either substance abuse or PTSD. The study also examines whether people with substance abuse disorder or posttraumatic disorder have abnormalities with processing emotions with someone who just has PTSD (Kemmis, Wanigaratne, and Ehntholt). The implications of a study by, (Hopwood, Schade, Matusiewicz, Daughters, and Lejuez), tells of the importance, of identifying potential signs for treatment. Substance abuse treatments often reveal the identification of emotional feelings that may lead to abuse and interference with someone’s treatment ( Marlatt & Gordon, 1985).With substance abuse being on the rise for everyone, this finding offers new findings and perspective on family substance abuse that may be a risk factor for children and other adolescents in the family.



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