The Effects of Drug Addiction
What's In This Article?
Drug addiction is a chronic disorder that can deteriorate a person’s life by compelling them to take drugs excessively and without self-control, despite the negative consequences. Most of the recent studies show that the repetitive use of drugs leads to long-lasting effects on your body especially brain by undermining voluntary control.
This is why drug addiction is not a moral failing or weakness, but rather a disease affecting the brain and body.
The effects of drug addiction can be seen in terms of mental health, physical health, and relationships. The effects of drug addiction can also create legal and financial problems.
What Are the Effects of Drug Addiction and Use?
The effects of drug addiction and drug use in general vary for every person while depending on their weight, size, health, and mentality. The variations can be even more random if the person is taking multiple drugs at the same time. The amount, quality and strength of drug also have severe impacts on a person.
Five major effects that drugs will have specifically include brain effects, body effects, psychological effects, sexual effects, and legal consequences.
1. Brain Effects
The brain is the major organ of your body that makes you repeat your pleasant experiences. The addictive drug may target your brain’s reward system thus overflowing a chemical called ‘dopamine’ which triggers the feeling of strong pleasure thus keeping you on taking more drug.
With the passage of time, your brain becomes used to that extra ‘dopamine’ which further pushes you to take higher dosages of the drug to start feeling effects. Over time, this effect totally changes your brain’s chemical system and circuits as well which may affect your judgment, memory, decision making power and ability to learn.
Long Term Impacts on Brain
Effects of drugs on the brain are more complicated than just dopamine. These can affect another chemical (glutamate) of your brain’s reward system thus impairing your cognitive functions which makes it difficult for you to think and learn.
The connections between brain cells and neurons are physically changed by drug overuse. Sometimes, drugs can actually kill brain cells causing permanent damage to your brain.
2. Body Effects
The effects of drug addiction can seriously harm your physical health. The impacts of drugs can be from mild symptoms to serious health issues affecting nearly every system or organ in your body. A stimulating substance like cocaine causes serious damage to your heart leading to heart failure.
Injectable drugs also affect your cardiovascular system by causing your veins to collapse or serious infections.
Drug smoking can cause lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.
Many drugs like opioids, heroin, along with alcohol, can be a reason of liver failure. Kidney damage is possible by an increase in body temperature, dehydration and muscle breakdown with drug overuse. Sharing needles during drug injection may cause Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B.
3. Psychological Effects
Mental illness is a sign of a negative way of life and drug addiction occurs along with mental illness. Excessive substance abuse can make mental conditions worse. Addicts struggle with depression, mood swings, sleeping problems, and anxiety disorders twice as likely as others.
Severe anxiety attacks can give you strange and unreal feelings about your surroundings leading you to lose a sense of reality and your personal identity.
Moreover, psychoactive drugs can cause delusions and hallucinations
4. Sexual Effects
The three neurophysiological phases of sexual response including excitement, desire and orgasm are disrupted by drug addiction. Drugs negatively impact male libido, ejaculation, erection, fertility, and orgasm.
Libido may decrease because of blocked testosterone. Ejaculation & erection is decreased by the effect of drugs on spinal reflexes thus inhibiting the orgasm.
Sexual practices that are influenced by drug usage, may cause you to engage in unprotected sex which may lead to a sexually transmitted disease like HIV.
5. Legal & Financial Consequences
Apart from the effects of drug addiction that are health-related you may face some legal consequences because of drugs. Some employers might require a drug test before offering a job or even during the job. Failure to pass these tests can lead to unemployment and further legal repercussions.
Driving while on drugs can lead to a suspension of your driving license as you’re endangering the lives of others driving in a less than coherent state. One of the lesser talked about horrors of drugs are how expensive they are.
Addicts can pour thousands and thousands of dollars into feeding their addiction, sacrificing their own financial well-being and that of their family and business.