What Problems Are Caused by Addiction?

Updated on December 2, 2022

Addiction to any drug, regardless of whether or not that substance is legal, has the potential to bring on major health concerns in certain people. The unfortunate reality is that drug misuse and addiction have reached epidemic proportions in many areas of the globe, including the United States. For example, in the United States in 2017, an estimated 11.2 percent of persons aged 12 and older had used a prohibited drug that had an intoxicated effect during the preceding month. 

However, despite the fact that it is legal for those over a certain age to use alcohol and nicotine, a significant number of people continue to battle with addiction to these drugs. Other substances, such as synthetic pharmaceuticals or inhalants, may be particularly hazardous due to the fact that the impact they have on the people who use them can be unexpected and harmful. In such cases the contacting a rehab is the only go now option.

  • Infections and Immune System Damage

When drugs are administered intravenously, there is a very high risk of infection, particularly from viruses like HIV and hepatitis B and C, as well as bacterial infections that may result from sharing unclean needles. Using other medications, such as snorting or inhaling drugs, may further raise the likelihood of contracting certain diseases, such as upper respiratory infections.

The euphoria caused by many intoxicating drugs, particularly alcohol, cocaine, and opioids, may lessen inhibitions, which can raise the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviour and acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Certain substances, such as cocaine, have a direct effect on the immune system’s capacity to produce white blood cells, which results in a diminished immunological response to infection.

  • Cardiovascular Problems

The heart rate of a person using stimulants may speed up, whereas the heart rate of someone using CNS depressants can slow down. The presence of persistently high or low blood pressure may be related with an increased risk of blood clots, ischemic damage, and other circulatory disorders such as aortic or coronary artery dissection. A wide variety of intoxicating chemicals might result in an abnormal heartbeat. It is possible for stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines to cause fatal overdoses brought on by cardiac arrest.

  • Gastrointestinal Issues

Orally consumed medications, such as alcohol or prescription medicines like opioids or ADHD medication, have the potential to cause damage to the digestive system. This damage may also occur when the system is abused. Opioids have been linked to persistent constipation, while other medications have been shown to produce gastrointestinal distress, including indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.

It’s called gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), and it may cause damage to the oesophagus and make it difficult to consume certain meals. Continuous indigestion, such as that which is linked with chronic drinking, is an example of GERD. In addition to causing damage to the oesophagus, chronic vomiting that is brought on by drug abuse may also lead to difficulties with malnutrition.

  • Respiratory Problems

Any substance that is smoked has the potential to cause damage to the alveoli in the lungs and make the upper respiratory system more vulnerable to infections. Certain drugs that depress the central nervous system, particularly opioids, might delay breathing or make it shallow or irregular. If a person takes an overdose of opioids or another substance that depresses the central nervous system (CNS), hypoxia can result in death. On the other hand, if a person has a reduced or depressed breathing pattern for a long period of time due to addiction, their body could also become starved of oxygen, leading to damage to other organ systems. Hypoxia can lead to death. Consuming alcohol on a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of developing community-acquired pneumonia, such as that which is brought on by Streptococcus pneumoniae.

  • Liver Damage

The liver plays a key role in the metabolism of nutrients, but it also serves as a main site of detoxification for many of the drugs we eat. Some medications overburden the liver’s metabolic functions, and the organ’s tissues begin to break down when the liver is under persistent stress. Hepatitis and cirrhosis are both possible outcomes of alcohol abuse, inhalants, heroin, and steroids. Toxicology studies have shown that alcohol, particularly, has the potential to cause a wide range of liver illness, from moderate (alcoholic steatohepatitis, or fatty liver disease) to more severe inflammation and progression of liver parenchyma fibrosis and scarring over time (cirrhosis). Having cirrhosis of the liver is itself a risk factor for liver cancer.

If you need help with addiction treatment ethan crossing recovery has drug and alcohol recovery at its rehab center in Ohio.