People take drugs to experience the effect. It might be the elation of ecstasy, the soft comfort of heroin, or the distraction of a painkiller high. However, they come with serious side effects that can occur from the moment of the first hit, to long after they’ve stopped using the substance. The drug effects on the body can range from a weakened immune system to lung disease, to death.
Stimulants Effects On The Body
Every drug does different things to the body. For example, stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamine, and Adderall flood the brain with dopamine, bringing in short-term energy, alertness, and good feelings, but leaving behind high body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. In some cases, stimulant drugs and the brain can lead to cerebral hemorrhage. Other side effects of stimulants include malnutrition from lack of appetite, gum disease, hypothermia, and full-blown psychosis.
How Opioids Affect The Body
Opioids, like heroin or Vicodin, can be snorted, smoked, injected, or even eaten. When consumed, the drug affects the central nervous system, leading to cognitive impairment, delirium, and psychomotor impairment, among other things.
The high of opioids slow your heartbeat and breathing, restricting oxygen to your body, and thus severely damaging your organs and respiratory system. The risks of extended exposure to opioids include brain impairment, bowel obstruction, and ataxia.
The Effects Inhalants Have On Your Lungs and Cognitive Abilities
Inhaling gases or fumes is a trend found mostly in teens and children. The danger in the drug use is that inhalants can be the most common household objects. Nail polish remover, paint thinner, hairspray, and felt-tip markers are among the easiest to access. “Huffing” the fumes creates a feeling of dizziness and euphoria that can be dangerously addictive.
Besides the loss of smell and sight, brain damage, which is sometimes permanent, is all too common when using inhalants. As enjoyable as the high may be to some people, the effects of drugs on the brain can be fatal.
Cannabis, Inhalants, and Depressants Effects On The Body
Drugs can affect practically every organ in the body. Those you smoke, like cannabis or tobacco, damage your lungs and are known to cause cancer or emphysema.
Hallucinogens can cause formication, the feeling of having insects underneath your skin. Formication makes the user obsessively scratch and pick at their skin until it’s turned raw.
Dependency on depressants like alcohol could cause cancer, lung infections, and even shrink your brain. The withdrawal from depressants like alcohol can be so severe that they cause seizures or cardiac arrest that leads to death.
Signs of Drug Addiction
Drug addiction, otherwise known as substance abuse disorder, doesn’t come out of nowhere. It starts with experimentation, regular use, and then dependency. Users see the behavior and mental differences that influence their everyday life. Symptoms of drug addiction include:
- Increasing the dosage oneself
- Obsessive thoughts about the drug
- Loss of interest in hobbies and relationships
- Spending, borrowing, or stealing money to purchase the drug
- Irregular sleep schedule (sleeping too much or too little)
- Physical changes like bloodshot eyes, weight loss, skin discoloration, and bad breath
- Withdrawal when restricted access to the drug
- An intense desire for the drug
- Trouble with personal and professional relationships
Certain drugs have a higher dependency rate. Heroin, crack cocaine, and nicotine are the most addictive drugs. Other factors also come into play that influence one’s ability to become addicted. Genetic predisposition, pre-existing psychological disorders, and the user’s environment can put someone at a higher risk for addiction. Still, it’s hard to pinpoint one specific factor in an individual’s path to drug addiction.
Overall Effects of Drug Addiction
The severity of the effects of drug addiction depends on a variety of factors. How the drugs were consumed (if they were injected, smoked, or snorted) how long they were consumed, the frequency of consumption, and the amount taken per dose are all important to consider. It does also vary from person to person, being influenced by individual biology and psychology.
These are the most common, long-term effects from drug abuse:
- Strokes, seizures, and heart attacks
- Memory loss, psychosis, confusion, and attention problems
- Liver damage (caused by inhalants, heroin, and steroids)
- Depression, paranoia, and anxiety
- Lung disease and heart conditions
These symptoms can be life-threatening. In fact, in 2015, more than 52,000 people died from drug abuse or overdose. Both natural and synthetic opioids were responsible for most of those deaths. However prominent drug addiction is in The United States, the issue is preventable through education through the media, school, and personal relationships.
Drug addiction is difficult to overcome, but it’s not impossible. Sobriety can be achieved through hard work, dedication, and loving support. We understand that drug addiction can be overwhelming alone so we’ve prepared drug rehabilitation programs to help you through the recovery process. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, please call Treatment Center XL at (720) 600-1043 for help. We are there for you.