Most people associate memory loss with a traumatic head injury or Alzheimer’s Disease. Amnesia and Alzheimer’s Disease are two of the most familiar forms of memory loss in today’s society. But there are other reasons why someone may be experiencing either short-term or long-term memory loss, and one of those is by the use of recreational drugs.
Regular use of recreational drugs – such as cannabis, ecstasy, and cocaine – can cause lapses in memory that may or may not be reversible. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2010 reported that ecstasy or polydrug users are “impaired in performing a number of cognitive tasks, including verbal and spatial exercises.” It was even shown back in 2005 that ecstasy users performed considerably worse on deductive reasoning tests, as well. Studies done specifically on the use of ecstasy have shown that even a small amount of ecstasy, or MDMA, can cause harm to the brain, even when used just once.
In addition to the illicit drugs listed above, the abuse of tobacco and alcohol are also contributing factors to memory loss and impaired cognitive ability. The memory deficits were extremely evident in all the tests done over the years that examined regular users of tobacco and alcohol and the effect it had on their memory over a certain period of time.
Studies continue to test the ability of certain recreational drugs to impair one’s memory and have shown time and time again that these drugs can cause increased mental impairment, sometimes after just one use.