Drug abuse has severe mental and physical health consequences. Recovery is possible, but treating addiction isn’t easy. The sooner a person struggling with drug addiction gets help, the less damage they will do to their health.
Drugs interact with the chemicals in the brain. Taking a drug repeatedly means individuals develop tolerance, and their brains begin to depend on the drug. They experience intense cravings and severe withdrawal symptoms when they don’t take it. This leads to compulsive drug use to fend off these unwanted symptoms and achieve the desired effect.
Prescription painkillers are designed for a specific function, but abuse of them creates serious problems. Prescribers are starting to crack down on the use of opiates and opioids as this has become a major problem in the U.S. This can make drug abusers resort to obtaining drugs on the black market, such as heroin.
Heroin is highly addictive and fast-acting, causing a burst of euphoria as it attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. By getting professional treatment, it is possible to overcome drug addiction safely.
Elite Home Detox, My Concierge MD, and The Recovery Village offer in-home heroin rapid detox. They bring the quality and services of a traditional rehab clinic into the home, and treatment plans are designed around individual needs for the best results.
The impact of drugs on the body
The negative effects of drug use largely depend on what drugs are used and how they are taken – ingested, snorted, smoked or injected.
Brain changes: Taking drugs on a regular basis can result in physical changes in the brain, such as frontal lobe damage and memory loss.
Circulatory system issues: Abusing drugs can cause circulatory system issues. A stimulant such as cocaine creates a flood of dopamine and causes an intense high as it speeds up the central nervous system. This can increase the risks of having a heart attack or a stroke.
Heart and lung problems: Drugs like methamphetamines can increase the risk of heart infections and diseases carried in the blood, especially when sharing needles. Benzodiazepines can suppress respiration, and smoking any drug can damage the alveoli in the lungs and make the upper respiratory tract more vulnerable to infections.
Digestive system issues: Drugs that are ingested orally can have a negative impact on the digestive system. Opioids may cause chronic constipation, and other drugs can cause nausea, vomiting and an upset stomach.
Immune system suppression: Drug use can also affect the immune system by suppressing cells that fight infection and disease. They can also indirectly affect it because drug addiction can cause lifestyle changes such as not eating nutritious food, not exercising, and not getting enough sleep.
Kidney and liver damage: Consistently abusing high levels of certain drugs can overwhelm the kidneys and liver, which filter out toxins. It can cause tissues to break down and progressively damage the organs.
Impact of drugs on mental health
Abusing drugs can lead to poor mental health, which has many consequences. It may mean missing work or school, having relationship problems, and using it in dangerous situations, such as when driving a car.
Cocaine use can significantly impact the brain, and some of the negative side effects include anxiety, panic, paranoia, tremors, and hostility. The euphoria associated with taking cocaine can lower inhibitions and increase the chances of taking sexual risks.
Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that can cause confusion, insomnia, violent behavior, hallucinations, and mood disturbances. Even after stopping use, the side effects can continue for months or years.
It is never too late to get help
Treatment for drug abuse will depend on the type of drug, the extent of abuse, one’s overall health, and other factors. It is possible to reverse many of the mental and physical side effects of abusing drugs by stopping use. Even complications that remain can be managed.
When stopping certain types of drugs, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe or dangerous. Rather than trying to do it cold turkey, it’s crucial to detox under the care of healthcare professionals. There are a variety of in-patient and outpatient drug abuse programs available.
Detox and recovery programs can help drug users to not only overcome their physical addiction, but also understand the roots of their substance abuse problems and learn coping mechanisms to help them deal with use triggers. Behavioral therapy, counseling, and support groups can all help to give patients the support they need to help them to make a full and lasting recovery.