Drug abuse and addiction can have a negative impact on practically all of your body’s systems. You’re undoubtedly aware that drugs have an impact on emotions, judgement, decision-making, learning, and memory. Cancer, heart illness, lung disease, liver function, mental disorders, and infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis can all be caused or worsened by them. Some of these side effects occur when medications are taken in large quantities or for long periods of time, while others might happen after just one use.
- Tobacco use raises the risk of lung and heart disease, as well as premature skin ageing.
- Inhalants transport hazardous chemicals throughout the body, causing blackouts, hearing loss, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and bone marrow.
- Methamphetamine can lead to cardiac damage, an increased heart rate, and convulsions, as well as damaged gums and teeth, a condition known as “meth mouth.”
- Cocaine has been related to stroke, heart attack, and increased infection vulnerability.
- Heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness are all linked to drug addiction in the United States.
Other Infectious Diseases, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis
Injection drug use—heroin, cocaine, or any other substance that users inject—has been related to nearly a third of known AIDS cases. Sharing needles or other injection equipment is a common way for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases to spread. Injection drug users are not the only ones who are in danger of developing or transmitting diseases. All substances of abuse have intoxicating effects that impair judgement and decision-making, prompting users to engage in behaviours that can have serious health repercussions, including the spread of HIV.
Effects on Mental Health
Addiction to drugs can exacerbate or cause a mental illness. More than half of drug addicts have also struggled with mental illness, either concurrently with their addiction or at a later point in their lives. This is most likely not a coincidence: Many of the same brain circuits that cause mental problems are affected by medicines. Both of these conditions could have common genetic and environmental origins. Long-term alterations in the brain induced by chronic drug misuse have been linked to sadness, anger, paranoia, and hallucinations, according to a study.
Cigarette smoking is the greatest preventable cause of mortality in the United States, accounting for around 440,000 deaths per year. Heart disease, lung cancer, and other lung issues such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis are all caused by smoking. Nicotine addiction is a direct outcome of tobacco use—one of the numerous compounds present in tobacco products that work on brain and body receptors. Tobacco smoke also has an impact on other biological systems, causing them to malfunction and eventually lead to disease. Tobacco smoking during pregnancy can have long-term consequences for the next generation, and secondhand smoke is connected to disorders in those who are exposed.
Prescription pills may be incorrectly assumed to be safe since they are given by a doctor for a specific ailment, but they are not safe if they are not intended for you.
Prescription opioid abuse, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, has the potential to lead to addiction. Taking a single big dose can result in severe respiratory depression (difficulty breathing or no breathing), which can be fatal. Prescription central nervous system depressants, such as Xanax and Valium, are also abused.
Prescription stimulant abuse, such as Ritalin or Adderall, can cause emotions of rage or paranoia. Furthermore, consuming too much of a stimulant can cause dangerously high body temperatures and irregular heartbeats. There’s also the risk of heart failure or death from seizures.