Mild Neurocognitive Disorders and Substance Abuse

Mild Neurocognitive Disorders and Substance AbuseMild cognitive impairment is often referred to as a stage where cognitive decline noticeably affects an individual’s daily functioning. However, these individuals can still live independently and have not progressed to dementia.

What Are Mild Neurocognitive Disorders?

Mild neurocognitive disorders occur when an individual begins to show mild signs of cognitive impairment years before their diagnosis and the individual may also have neuropathological changes before symptoms become apparent. Included in the following are some examples of neurocognitive disorders:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia which causes problems with an individual’s memory, thinking, or behavior. This disease progresses, or gets worse over time. Dementia refers to the loss of mental functions such as thinking, memory, and reasoning which is severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily activities. Parkinson’s disease affects the way an individual moves due to problems with certain nerve cells in the brain. On a normal basis, nerve cells make an important chemical called dopamine which is responsible for sending signals to the part of the brain that controls movement. When an individual has Parkinson’s disease, these nerve cells break down making movement more difficult.

Why Might an Individual Use Drugs while Struggling with a Neurocognitive Disorder?

Struggling with any kind of mental or physical disorder can cause an individual to look for alternative methods to improve their quality of life. Included in the following are some examples on why an individual, who is struggling with a neurocognitive disorder, may use drugs:

  • Coping mechanisms
  • Alleviate or reduce symptoms
  • Accidental addiction

Individuals struggling with neurocognitive disorders may feel their disorder inhibits them from living life to the fullest. Thus, they use or abuse drugs to help fill the void. Individuals may also use drugs or alcohol to help alleviate and reduce some of their symptoms. Individuals suffering from neurocognitive disorders may either not be aware of the substance they are taking or may not remember the last time they took the medication. This can place an individual at risk for an accidental addiction. This is why taking the necessary precautions with a loved one suffering from a neurocognitive disorder can help save their life.

Drug Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with both a neurocognitive disorder and addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your addiction questions and to help you find the best treatment available. One call today can change all your tomorrows, so call us today!