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Author Topic: How illicit drugs and alcohol affect a person living with mental illness  (Read 2299 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

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source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-06/how-illicit-drugs-alcohol-affect-mental-illness/6804560

Mental As: How illicit drugs and alcohol affect a person living with mental illness


PHOTO: The use of illicit drugs can severely complicate the rehabilitation of a patient with mental health issues. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

Stronger versions of illicit drugs, such as crystallised methamphetamines or 'ice', are causing increased difficulty in the treatment of patients, mental health experts say.

In the past 10 years, the consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs in South Australia has remained, by percentage, largely unchanged.

The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey revealed 2 per cent of Australians adults used amphetamines.

But the problems associated with the usage of drugs for patients with mental health conditions has changed greatly.

Will Liaw, one of only three addiction psychiatrists practising in South Australia, said the intermingling of drugs and mental health illness had created serious problems for Australian communities.

"Substance-related intoxication appears to be more severe in those who have a mental health disorder," Dr Liaw said.

"The recovery process can be prolonged as substances could interfere with mental health treatments."

It is known that some patients turn to drugs and alcohol to help ease their mental health issues.

Dr Liaw said when patients did this they created what is referred to as "comorbidity" — doubling their problems.

"In a person with major depressive disorder and alcohol use at the same time, alcohol can affect the anti-depressant or their psychological therapy," Dr Liaw said.

The circle is completed when a person with a mental health condition becomes addicted to the substances they have used to self-medicate.

Ice and its effect on a person with mental illness

Dr Liaw said the physiological reaction to taking drugs such as crystal meth was significant.

The brain's activity is supercharged and the activity of a patient's illness heightened.

"Amphetamine — because of its nature — causes a release of different neuro-chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin and adrenalin," Dr Liaw said.

The chemicals replicated by the drugs are often the same that stimulate mental health issues.

 Dr Will Liaw, an addiction psychiatrist at Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia.

PHOTO: Addiction psychiatrist Dr Will Liaw is concerned about rising cases of drug-induced psychosis due to amphetamine users switching to the stronger versions of the drug. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

"The release of the chemicals — promoted by the stimulants — is now affecting a person's mental state and heightening the effect of mental illness," Dr Liaw said.

Dr Liaw said the recent increase of amphetamine users switching to its crystallised version was very concerning for practitioners.

"Crystal methamphetamines [have] a potential to cause significantly more harm," he said.

Ice is typically smoked and according to Dr Liaw, this rapid ingestion means the effects of the drug are quicker and stronger on a person's brain activity.

Dr Liaw said as the drug had been further refined and strengthened, he had noticed an increase in drug-induced psychosis.

Although ice is the focus of his main concern, Dr Liaw said mental health patients could be affected by a range of the illicit drugs and alcohol available in Australia.

"Whether it is marijuana or amphetamines, they are all capable of producing significant mental health harm," he said.
I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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Re: How illicit drugs and alcohol affect a person living with mental illness
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 10:42:30 PM »
yep, crystalline methamphetamine AND weed both cause tremendous mental health harm

why, its almost impossible to tell which is worse!
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Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: How illicit drugs and alcohol affect a person living with mental illness
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 08:10:00 AM »
yep, crystalline methamphetamine AND weed both cause tremendous mental health harm

why, its almost impossible to tell which is worse!

oh spweed, you mean ? those two drugs are my staple diet these days.

but pot can be a useful tool to test for (latent ?) psychiatric illnesses while Crystal can cause a hideous and hi-vis addiction and behavioural issues.

both good and bad sides, depending on where you sit. Psychiatric patients are strongly advised to avoid Crystal Meth; the best outcome from using it comes from healthy and strong (physically and mentally) individuals.

basically, pot can make you paranoid and chronic meth use will steal your health and sanity, IF YOU LET IT.

this site is powered by crystal meth, i have to admit.
I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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