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long term effects of drug addiction

Long Term Side Effects of Drug Abuse: Mental and Physical

Heavy drug and alcohol use can have lasting impacts on the mind and body, and even moderate to mild drug use causes Long Term Side Effects. Some side effects of drug use cause cognition problems along with physical health problems.

There are ways to overcome drug abuse, the first step is recognizing you have an addiction and making the choice to go into Detox Treatment.

In the prompt below, you will gain a better understanding of how drugs and alcohol affect us mentally and physically in the long term and short term, as well as Addiction Treatment Options and ways to overcome addiction.

 

Drug Abuse Information

More than 31 million people over the age of 12 use illegal drugs currently.[1] This does not include the many other individuals who abuse legal prescription drugs. Drug abuse is common in America and in certain states and cities drug abuse is at an all-time high. Drug abuse information is important and vital to drug users and the loved ones of drug users because it can save a life.

The effects of drug addiction go beyond the individual using, it also effects that person’s friends and family, including children of the person abusing drugs.

Drug abuse effects a large percentage of our world’s population, including our communities which can affect society. There are so many negative side effects of drug abuse on the body and mind that many users are not aware of until it is too late.

Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs abused and one of the scariest long-term effects of cocaine use is loss of bone density and muscle mass which can lead to osteoporosis later in life.[2]

 

Important Stats about Drug Abuse Statistics 2020

Here is a list of important statistics regarding drug abuse in 2020, according to The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics:[3]

  • Since the year 2000, more than 700 thousand individuals have died from a drug overdose
  • In the last year more than 53 million people used illegal drugs
  • 8 million people over the age of 12 consume alcohol and of that, 14.8 million have an alcohol abuse disorder
  • 8 million individuals smoke tobacco
  • 1 million people who use illegal drugs have a drug disorder
  • 2 million of those illegal drug users have an opioid addiction
  • Young men are more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder
  • 70% of people who use drugs before they turn 13, develop a drug disorder within 7 years
  • There are about 700 thousand overdose deaths every single year in the US

 

Side Effects of Drug Abuse on the Body

Side effects of drug addiction can harm you indirectly not only by effecting the people around you, but also in your daily life. Sleep, nutrition, and decision making are all at risk with drug use. Side effects of drugs can also put you at a risk for violence, trauma, and injury all of which can be life threatening.[4]

Blood borne diseases are also common among drug users such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and many more. Many side effects of drug abuse especially those who have used drugs long term, can become permanent, or very hard to reverse.

Pregnant mothers who abuse drugs are at a huge health risk and this can also affect the baby in the womb. Drug abuse can also make it harder to maintain an education, employment, housing, relationships, and criminal involvement.[5]

 

Short Term Side Effects of Drug Abuse

Short term side effects of drug abuse can be just as harmful and develop into long term problems… side effects really depend on what drug you use as well as the frequency and amount you use but some short-term risks include:

  • You are more likely to be in an accident whether at home or driving
  • You are more likely to experience sexual assault or unprotected sex (which can lead to pregnancy and/or diseases.
  • Sleep problems occur, as well as cognitive problems and making decisions
  • You may experience a change in appetite
  • Increased chance of stroke or heart attack
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • In some cases, lower respiratory rate (slows down breathing)
  • At risk for psychosis, overdose, and death

Specifically, alcohol use is widely common of an addiction in America, and even around the world. These are some short-term side effects of alcohol abuse:

  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of critical thinking and judgements
  • Coordination loss
  • Mood swings
  • Raise in blood pressure
  • Passing out/ blacking out
  • Vomiting

 

Long Term Side Effects of Drug Abuse

Long term side effects of drug abuse can permanently impact your health and even lead to death. There are also physical side effects of drug abuse that can become expensive and are hard to recover from.

These are some of the long-term effects of drug abuse:

  • Damage to organs and different systems in your body (throat, lung, etc.)
  • Risk of different cancers, especially if you smoke
  • Infectious diseases from sharing needles and other drug equipment
  • Acne and skin lesions
  • Long term harm to your baby, if pregnant
  • Needle marks and collapsed veins
  • Teeth and jaw problems
  • Mood swings and erratic behavior
  • Overdose
  • Psychosis
  • Mental Illness

There are many adverse effects of alcohol abuse, especially when drinking heavily and frequently. Side effects of long-term alcohol abuse include:

  • Loss of grey and white matter in the brain
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of attention span
  • Harder time learning
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Liver fibrosis
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Cancer including throat, mouth, larynx, breast, liver, colorectal, and esophageal
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

Using drugs and becoming addicted impacts your health in so many ways, although side effects of abusing drugs can be stopped in its tracks with treatment, starting with inpatient detoxification.

 

Ways To Overcome Drug Abuse

Addiction impacts more than just your health, in impacts all factors of your life including those around you. Getting help is crucial to getting your life back, and you should never feel alone in your addiction.

What is drug abuse? Drug abuse is overusing drugs to the point where it effects your health.[6] There are many ways to overcome drug abuse, and the first step is recognizing you have an addiction.

The next step to overcoming addiction is checking yourself into detox treatment. SAMHSA’s national drug abuse hotline can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).[7]

Detox should never be done at home, or alone because withdrawal from drugs can be extremely hard on the body and mind and you will need doctors around to provide you with things like methadone to take the pain and agitation away. You can check out few Drug Rehab Centers for this service to get the best quality treatment possible.

After detox, you will want to join support groups for people who struggle with addiction so you can have support and people to talk to regarding what you are going though. Support by friends and family is essential for recovery. These are some of the best ways to overcome drug abuse.

 

Citations

  1. [online] Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physical.
  2. [online] Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Choices Recovery. 2021. Drug Abuse – What is Substance Abuse and Addiction?. [online] Available at: https://crehab.org/information/what-is-drug-abuse/.

Alcohol.org. 2021. Effects of Alcohol on the Body: Short & Long-Term Effects | Alcohol.org. [online] Available at: https://www.alcohol.org/effects/.

Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 2021. How drugs affect your body – Better Health Channel. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/How-drugs-affect-your-body.

CareConnect USA. 2021. How to Beat Drug Addiction – 8 Tips to Overcome Addiction to Drugs. [online] Available at: https://careconnectusa.org/blog/how-to-beat-drug-addiction/.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2021. Introduction | National Institute on Drug Abuse. [online] Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/health-consequences-drug-misuse/introduction.

Statistics, D., Deaths, O., Crisis, O., Misuse, P., Deaths, O., Crisis, O. and Misuse, P., 2021. NCDAS: Substance Abuse and Addiction Statistics [2021]. [online] NCDAS. Available at: https://drugabusestatistics.org/.

American Addiction Centers. 2021. The Permanent Effects of Drugs on the Body. [online] Available at: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/health-complications-addiction/permanent-effects.

 

  

[1] NCDAS: Substance Abuse and Addiction Statistics [2021] (drugabusestatistics.org)

[2] The Permanent Effects of Drugs on the Body (americanaddictioncenters.org)

[3] NCDAS: Substance Abuse and Addiction Statistics [2021] (drugabusestatistics.org)

[4] Health Consequences of Drug Misuse: Introduction | NIDA (drugabuse.gov)

[5] Health Consequences of Drug Misuse: Introduction | NIDA (drugabuse.gov)

[6] Drug Abuse – What is Substance Abuse and Addiction? (crehab.org)

[7] SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357) | SAMHSA