Consequences of Drug Abuse

NIDA’s Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse

Drug addiction is a brain disease. Although initial drug use might be voluntary, drugs of abuse have been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, which in turn affect human behavior. Once addiction develops, these brain changes interfere with an individual’s ability to make voluntary decisions, leading to compulsive drug craving, seeking and use.

The impact of addiction can be far reaching. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and lung disease can all be affected by drug abuse. Some of these effects occur when drugs are used at high doses or after prolonged use, however, some may occur after just one use.

HIV, Hepatitis and Other Infectious Diseases

Drug abuse not only weakens the immune system but is also linked to risky behaviors like needle sharing and unsafe sex. The combination greatly increases the likelihood of acquiring HIV-AIDS, hepatitis and many other infectious diseases.Researchers have found a connection between the abuse of most drugs and adverse cardiovascular effects, ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Injection drug use can also lead to cardiovascular problems such as collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves.

Cardiovascular Effects
Researchers have found a connection between the abuse of most drugs and adverse cardiovascular effects, ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Injection drug use can also lead to cardiovascular problems such as collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves.

Respiratory Effects
Drug abuse can lead to a variety of respiratory problems. Smoking cigarettes, for example, has been shown to cause bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Marijuana smoke may also cause respiratory problems. The use of some drugs may also cause breathing to slow, block air from entering the lungs or exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Gastrointenstinal Effects
Among other adverse effects, many drugs of abuse have been known to cause nausea and vomiting soon after use. Cocaine use can also cause abdominal pain.
Drugs that can affect the gastrointenstinal system:

• Cocaine
• GHB
• Heroin
• LSD
• MDMA
• Nicotine
• Prescription Opiates

Musculoskeletal Effects
Steroid use during childhood or adolescence, resulting in artificially high sex hormone levels, can signal the bones to stop growing earlier than they normally would have, leading to short stature. Other drugs may also cause severe muscle cramping and overall muscle weakness.

Drugs that can affect the musculoskeletal system:

• Inhalants
• MDMA
• PCP
• Steroids

Kidney Damage
Some drugs may cause kidney damage or failure, either directly or indirectly from dangerous increases in body temperature and muscle breakdown.
Drugs that can cause kidney damage:

• Heroin
• Inhalants
• MDMA
• PCP

Source: www.drugabuse.gov/

 

Give us a call for both long term or short term.  If there are any questions not answered here  and require immediate attention give us a call!  561-740-6765

The Beaches Treatment Center – For recovery of the MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT!

Posted in Uncategorized.