When talking about drug abuse and addiction, people usually focus on devastating effects on the psychological state of an addicted person. However, the impact of drug abuse on the entire body and on the overall health can be very serious and sometimes irreversible.
There are many substances that fall into the category of drug abuse. People get addicted to painkillers, over-the-counter cold and flu remedies, prescription drugs, psychoactive drugs or performance enhancing drugs. Some of the most commonly abused substances are amphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opioids, cocaine and methaqualone.
Some of the substances that lead to addiction are illegal, others are not only legal but widely available. As for the legal substances, they may require a doctor’s prescription or they can be bought over the counter in any drugstore.
Drug abuse and addition may be difficult to identify and to treat. The main step in overcoming this problem is realizing the problem exists and deciding to act upon it. After that, there is a wide choice of treatment available for overcoming the addiction, from specialized centers, support groups and individual therapy.
It is very important to react as soon as the addiction is suspected, otherwise the effects of drug abuse on health will be more severe.
Drug abuse and health
Prescription and OTC drugs may be efficient in solving a particular health issue, but in case of addiction that actually do more harm than good when it comes to health. Long-term abuse of some of the legal drugs may lead to permanent liver and kidney damage, severe gastrointestinal problems and many more. Opioids can cause vomiting, impaired cognitive function, seizures, respiratory difficulties and coma. CNS depressants also have many negative effects on the health. They may cause seizures, and if combined with other drugs, they may slow down the heartbeat and breathing rate, which is potentially fatal. Stimulants, or “uppers” as they are sometimes called, can cause abnormally high body temperature and arrhythmias.
Combining medications can be particularly dangerous, even if one of the drugs used in the combination is a relatively safe OTC drug, such as flu medicine.
Illegal drugs are even more dangerous, especially because many times they are mixed with ingredients that are not supposed to be mixed, and when they interact, they may affect seriously the nervous system, the heart and other vital body systems. In addition, with illegal drugs the chance of an overdose is particularly high. Overdosing may lead to seizures, coma and death.
It is safe to say that drug abuse affects negatively almost every part of the human body and its every system. Sometimes the damage can be repaired, but unfortunately, it can also be irreversible.