Health Risks Associated With Substance Abuse To Know About

There are many health risks associated with substance abuse that are important to know about, especially if you or loved one are struggling with addiction

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March 20, 2019
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Drug abuse is a huge issue that impact an individual’s psychological health as well as physical health. Drug and substance use can lead to severe health issues and increase the risk of developing illness and diseases that could otherwise be avoided. Both the short-term and long-term use of drugs and alcohol may result in issues related to heart function, liver function, and brain function. Further, the abuse of drugs and alcohol may increase the risk of developing chronic disorders like cancers and heart disease.

Health Risks Associated With Opioid Abuse

There are several risks and dangers of opioid abuse. In the short-term, opioid abuse can cause side effects including nausea, paranoia, respiratory depression, lethargy, and drowsiness. Long term effects of opioid abuse include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Brain damage resulting from lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Damage to the liver
  • Dependence on opioids
  • Tolerance to opioids

A growing tolerance to opioids is a recipe for disaster. The body will eventually require so much of the drug to achieve the desired effect that the individual will overdose and die without intervention. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, seek treatment for opioid addiction right away.

Health Risks Associated With Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse can affect many different parts of the body. First, alcohol disrupts the communication pathways within the brain. It can also change the physical structure of the brain itself. These changes that occur within the brain can alter moods and overall behavior, while also impacting coordination and making it difficult to think clearly. Alcohol abuse can also wreak havoc on the heart. The heart may be impacted in the following ways:

  • Increase the risk of stroke
  • Cardiomyopathy – drooping and stretching of the heart muscle itself
  • Increase the risk of high blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat (i.e., arrhythmias)
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Long term excessive use of alcohol can also harm the liver, causing issues including:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fatty liver (i.e., steatosis)
  • Fibrosis

The pancreas is also affected by the long term use of alcohol. Alcohol abuse can cause the pancreas to begin to produce toxic substances, eventually resulting in pancreatitis. Finally, there is evidence that excessive long term use of alcohol may lead to a higher risk of developing different types of cancers including liver cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancer. If you or a loved one are struggling with a drinking problem, don’t wait until it is too late to seek trusted professional treatment for addiction at facilities like WindwardWay.com. Make the call now.

Health Risks Associated With Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine use can affect and rewire the reward pathway in the brain. The short-term effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
  • Paranoia
  • Anger and irritability
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headaches
  • Mood problems
  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Disease
  • Damage to the lungs
  • If injected: HIV or hepatitis

Health Risks Associated With Methamphetamine Abuse

Methamphetamine abuse can cause damage to the serotonin and dopamine neurons in the brain due to its neurotoxic nature. The abuse of methamphetamine can change the structure and function of the brain and negatively affect memory, emotion, and mood. These changes are often irreversible. Other risks associated with methamphetamine abuse include:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disturbance
  • Severe dental issues
  • Violent and aggressive behavior
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Delusions
  • Suicidal ideations and suicidal behaviors
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Final Thoughts

If you are dealing with addiction and are experiencing symptoms related to drug or alcohol abuse, treatment from an experienced medical team may help you treat and reduce the risks related to substance abuse. Comprehensive treatment programs that include detox and therapy programs may help you to quit abusing drugs and alcohol.