The Hidden Dangers: 5 Risks Associated with Substance Abuse

The Hidden Dangers: 5 Risks Associated with Substance Abuse

Becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol can hinder one’s ability to see the ramifications of one’s actions. The only thing a person can focus on is getting their fix, ignoring the toxic results that drugs and alcohol can have on the body, most of them long-term and a few even incurable. Here are five conditions you could be at risk for if you have a substance abuse problem.

Damage To The Central Nervous System

Any outpatient rehab in Utah has to be prepared to deal with a plethora of health conditions when an individual decides to receive treatment. One of the most common conditions is the damage that is done to the brain through the prolonged abuse of drugs or alcohol. This is because the brain becomes heavily dependent on the drug and will no longer work the same without its presence. This is why withdrawal symptoms can become quite debilitating for a patient. Drugs and alcohol addiction changes the overall structure and function of the brain, can cause damage to the frontal lobe, leads to memory loss and confusion, and increases the development of depression and anxiety.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Drugs and alcohol can have a negatively profound effect on the gastrointestinal system. Many drugs can cause diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and loss of appetite, as well as irritation of the stomach lining and intestines. This irritation increases the risk of ulcers, heartburn, and acid reflux which can further damage the esophagus and digestive tissues.

Acute Respiratory Failure

Substance abuse can lead to failure of the respiratory system, especially when the individual is addicted to alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, benzos, and opioids. They tend to suppress respiration and put a person at risk of overdose. Other drugs that are smoked can increase the risk of lung disease and lung cancer.

Diminished Immune System

The immune system is greatly affected by substance abuse, increasing the person’s risk of becoming sick in the future. Some drugs can suppress the white blood cells’ ability to fight off infections and diseases. A person who is addicted is also less likely to have a healthy lifestyle, including eating nutritious foods, getting daily exercise, and getting enough sleep; these practices are designed to help you fight off illness.

Circulatory And Heart Problems

The heart and overall circulatory system can be put under significant amounts of stress when a person is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Stimulants like cocaine tend to increase the heart rate, which puts the heart under a lot of pressure and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Drugs like tobacco and alcohol can put a person at risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular issues due to the way they constrict the blood vessels over a long period of time. With injectable drugs, like opioids, there is the risk of blood infections if proper hygiene isn’t practiced, such as sharing needles.

Substance abuse is a serious issue that affects a person’s health (both physically and mentally) as well as their personal relationships with other people. If you or someone you know has a substance abuse disorder, contact your primary healthcare professional as soon as possible to get the help you need.