New Delhi: Perceived as a lighthearted, fun and humorous rite among college students, binge drinking and/or cocaine abuse may lead not only to impaired judgment but also lead to impairment in mental skills like decision-making and planning.
Binge drinking is defined as four drinks in two hours for women and five drinks in two hours for men and cocaine-use can just make it worse.
As per a previous study, alcohol acts as a depressant, impairing basic bodily functions, such as the gag reflex, leaving people vulnerable to choking on their own vomit and dying in their sleep.
Now, the new study has showed that the frequency of binge drinking and use of marijuana, cocaine, opioids, sedatives and tranquilisers and stimulants may cause deficits in attention and executive functioning in both men and women.
"Regardless if cognitive impairments precede substance use or vice versa, poorer cognitive functioning negatively impacts daily life and may cause lack of insight into one's substance use as a source of problems, impeding treatment utilisation or decreasing the likelihood of effective treatment," said Deborah Hasin, Professor at the Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC).
Poorer attention was linked with frequent and infrequent binge drinking and use of drugs, in particular, stimulants.
A lower score on executive functioning scale was associated with frequent binge drinking and drug use, cocaine in particular.
This may also affect one's ability to function well in important interpersonal or occupational areas such as limiting the thought process and the ability to multi-task, the researchers said.
For the study, published online in the journal Addiction, the team analysed data from 36,085 respondents to create two cognitive scales based on dimensionality and reliability.
Complete abstinence or reduced substance use may lead to gradual improvement in cognition, Hasin said.
(With IANS inputs)