Drug abuse and addiction can cause a series of long-term adverse health effects and consequences. These negative health effects are usually physical or psychological. In most instances, the drug abusers suffer both the physical and psychological health effects of abusing drugs. Most of the times, the only sure way of breaking the substance abuse habit is to check into rehab. Sober Living Los Angeles, for instance, offers some of the best sober living options to choose from.
Drug abuse and addiction can cause you physical health problems such as liver problems, heart diseases, as well as psychological or mental health issues such as anxiety disorders and depression. Apart from the health effects of drug abuse, it can also lead to other adverse effects that make your life a living hell. Some of these adverse effects include financial problems, legal problems, injuries, broken relationships, etc.
Simply put, recovering from drug addiction can sometimes even take years. Long-term substance abuse tends to change the brain exponentially. And, thus, makes the addition of the substances nearly impossible to stop. Substance use and abuse impair the user’s thinking and memory in most instances. Sober living homes such as Sober Living Los Angeles help drug abusers to recover from their drug addiction using effective and long-term treatments. These treatments work to help the body and brain re-adapt to living without these drugs.
Long-term drug abuse effects on your health
By now, it should be fairly evident that drugs can cause severely harmful physical effects when abused. Some of these health effects can cause damages that last for years. In more severe situations, the damages can last forever. Drugs affect different parts of the body differently. And these symptoms can range from mild symptoms to very severe health issues. Check out some of the body organs that are more commonly affected by substance abuse.
Liver damage – alcohol, heroin, and many prescription opioids can cause significant liver damage. This damage can become even more severe when the abusers combine these drugs. In even more severe cases, the abusers stand the chance of having life-threatening liver failure.
Kidney damage – drug abuse can also cause long-term kidney damages including kidney failure that can be life-threatening too. Kidney damages occur due to the breakdown of muscle tissue, dehydration, and increased body temperature.
Cardiovascular system – some drugs such as cocaine can especially be hard on the heart and cause significant damage each time you use them. If you aren’t too careful, then you may end up with severe long-term heart disease, collapsing of the veins, and infections in the blood vessels or even the heart.
Gastrointestinal damage – almost all drugs that you abuse cause significant damage and decay to your intestines or stomach. In most instances, this causes chronic pain, constipation, and acid influx.
Respiratory damages – your lungs can also suffer significant damage, especially by smoked drugs. Smoked drugs can cause damages like lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Opioids also depress breathing that can worsen asthma cases.
The sooner you get help from an excellent Sober Living Los Angeles center, the better your chances will be of minimizing most of the physical health-related problems. While there is always the chance of your body suffering permanent physical or psychological effects of abusing drugs, there are many ways that your body can recover. However, you, first, need to quit and get treatment.
Long-term effects of drug abuse on the brain
Drug abuse actually ends up changing the chemistry of your brain. Whether directly or indirectly, drugs work to produce a sensation of pleasure that targets and activate specifically the reward system in your brain. Drugs change the dopamine levels in your brain and keep you in the ‘feel good’ environment.
Aside from changing your brains chemistry, long-term drug abuse also changes other ways your brain function. They include:
Brain cells die – most substances that drug addicts abuse is actually toxic and actually kill brain cells. And these dead cells leave the damaged parts of your brain permanently affected. They never come back to life.
Changes in brain connections – over time, drug use also changes the other areas of your brain as well. Drugs change how your brain controls physical connections between your brain cells or neurons. Studies show that drugs can develop more connections in some parts of the brain whereas it decreases the connections in others.
Changes in memory – drugs also cause significant changes in how your brain memorizes and learns. Actually, drugs condition its users to crave and want to use more of them. Your brain starts to react to specific cues in the environment that triggers its cravings for the drugs.
Impaired cognitive functions – drug abuse also affects glutamate production in the brain. Glutamate is also another neurotransmitter in the brain. This eventually changes how you think or learn.
Long-term psychological effects of drug abuse
Studies have found that almost all forms of drug addiction occur alongside mental illnesses. This is because drug abuse can significantly contribute to, trigger, or worsen mental health conditions. Most people who abuse drugs are more likely to struggle with mental or mood disorders such as anxiety disorders or depression. Drug abuse can significantly trigger different mental illnesses. If, however, you already have some mental health issues, then abusing drugs can make your mental condition worse.
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health issues that occur from abusing drugs.
Risks of drug overdose
As an addict, you may already know about most of the adverse health effects of abusing certain types of drugs. However, you may not be able to stop abusing them still. That’s only because you are enslaved by the drugs you abuse.
The most severe risk you can suffer from drug overdose is death. In fact, drugs actually kill you slowly over time. Any misuse of drugs puts you at a higher risk of having an overdose which can be fatal to your health. Plus, the risks that these drugs come with arise from when you use street drugs.
Drug abuse and addiction have severe, lasting health effects that, if not addressed at the early stages, can end up killing you. If possible, check yourself or your addictive partner, friend or family member into a good Sober Living Los Angeles center or other rehab centers to try and keep yourself or your loved one off of it. Save a life.