EFFECTS OF DRUG USE ON THE BODY

The physical effects of drug abuse on the human body are clear when viewed through the prism of normal bodily functions.


Drugs can make the:

· Heart beat faster

· Mouth and throat feel dry

· Breath to quicken or slow

· Hands feel sweaty

· Pupils dilate


The physical signs of drug abuse reside alongside the mental. Drug abuse affects the body and the mind. It causes distorted thoughts and emotions. Everyday bodily functions become impaired.[i] Continue reading to find out more of the devastating effects of drug abuse on the body.


PERSISTENT PSYCHOSIS

Chronic psychotic symptoms that don’t dissipate once intoxication wears off. These symptoms include paranoia, mood and visual disturbances, and disorganized thought.[ii]


HALLUCINOGEN PERSISTING PERCEPTION DISORDER (HPPD)

Characterized by the re-experiencing of symptoms experienced while under the influence of a hallucinogen (i.e., “flashbacks”). These symptoms could include hallucinations, intensified colors, and other visual disturbances.[iii]


CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM

Stimulants like cocaine are particularly hard on the heart, causing damage every time they are used. Stimulant abuse can lead to long-term heart disease, including heart failure. Injectable drugs like heroin can cause veins to collapse and even infections in blood vessels or the heart.[iv]


RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

The lungs can be damaged by any drug that is smoked, causing diseases like emphysema, lung cancer, and chronic bronchitis. Opioids depress breathing, which can worsen asthma.[v]


KIDNEY DAMAGE

Many drugs can cause long-term kidney damage, including kidney failure, which is life threatening. This is caused by increased body temperature, breakdown of muscle tissue, and dehydration.[vi]


LIVER DAMAGE

Heroin and prescription opioids can cause liver damage. This damage is more severe when the drugs are combined with alcohol. In severe cases, a person may have life-threatening liver failure.[vii]


GASTROINTESTINAL DAMAGE

Many kinds of drugs cause damage and decay in the stomach or intestines. This can result in chronic pain, acid reflux, and constipation.[viii]


STROKE

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is compromised, or the blood vessels in the brain burst. In other words, there is some type of blockage that prevents the blood from getting where it needs to go. This starves the brain of oxygen and other necessary nutrients, causing a shut-down. A rupture of the vessels may accompany stroke. Some stroke incidents are considered minor, and victims can make a full recovery with treatment. Others cause permanent damage or are fatal.


Often, stroke is linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, among other conditions. It can also be caused by the use of certain drugs, as well as the abuse of illegal substances and legally obtained medications. For instance, certain street drugs such as meth and crack force the heart to pump faster and faster. This in turn can lead the walls of the blood vessels to unnaturally expand. One breakage is all it takes, and it can even happen the first time a drug user tries a drug. Because of this, it is important for drug addicts to get into recovery as soon as possible to limit their chance of experiencing a stroke.[ix]



[i] Drug Use From Head to Toe, Journey Pure Editorial Team, accessed 23 October 2019, <https://www.12keysrehab.com/drug-use-from-head-to-toe-how-drug-abuse-affects-the-body/>

[ii] The Effects of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Marisa Crane, B.S., Project Know, accessed 23 October 2019, < https://www.projectknow.com/drug-addiction/effects/>

[iii] The Effects of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Marisa Crane, B.S., Project Know, accessed 23 October 2019, < https://www.projectknow.com/drug-addiction/effects/>

[iv] Long-Term Effects of Drug Addiction, Alta Mira Editorial Team, accessed 23 October 2019, < https://www.altamirarecovery.com/drug-addiction/long-term-effects-drug-addiction/>

[v] Long-Term Effects of Drug Addiction, Alta Mira Editorial Team, accessed 23 October 2019, < https://www.altamirarecovery.com/drug-addiction/long-term-effects-drug-addiction/>

[vi] Long-Term Effects of Drug Addiction, Alta Mira Editorial Team, accessed 23 October 2019, < https://www.altamirarecovery.com/drug-addiction/long-term-effects-drug-addiction/>

[vii] Long-Term Effects of Drug Addiction, Alta Mira Editorial Team, accessed 23 October 2019, < https://www.altamirarecovery.com/drug-addiction/long-term-effects-drug-addiction/>

[viii] Long-Term Effects of Drug Addiction, Alta Mira Editorial Team, accessed 23 October 2019, < https://www.altamirarecovery.com/drug-addiction/long-term-effects-drug-addiction/>

[ix] Drug Use From Head to Toe, Journey Pure Editorial Team, accessed 23 October 2019, <https://www.12keysrehab.com/drug-use-from-head-to-toe-how-drug-abuse-affects-the-body/>

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