It all seems so simple at first.
You use recreational drugs for the first time because everyone else around you is, because they offer relief from emotional pain and because they make you feel good.
It can be difficult to say “no,” even though you know you should.
But if you continue to use drugs, you’ll destroy your body, perhaps permanently.
This post will cover the horrific consequences of drug use.
We’ll also tell you more about how the right treatment program in Athens, Georgia can help you to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of drugs on the body and mind.
Read on to face the harsh reality about the consequences of addiction.
1. High Risk for Infection
It’s terrifying to think about what drugs do to your body in the short-term, but the potential lifelong side effects are just as harrowing.
Abusing drugs makes you much more likely to contract infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis B and C, and more. In most cases, this happens because drug addicts share needles with one another.
In fact, drug users account for about 6% of all new HIV diagnosis each year. The majority of these people don’t even know they’re infected, which makes transmission even easier.
2. A Change in Brain Chemistry
It’s important to understand what can drugs do to your body, but you should also look at how they can change and damage your overall brain chemistry.
Your dopamine receptors and serotonin system are completely flipped upside-down by drug use. This means that, in order to feel the same level of happiness and relief as you once did, you’ll need to use more and more of the drugs.
Drugs also interfere with the GABA systems in the body, which leads to severe mood swings, increased anger, and a greater likelihood of suicidal thoughts.
3. Damage to Nasal Passages
Especially if you snort drugs, like cocaine or even crushed up prescription pills, you’ll do serious and permanent damage to your nasal passages.
This makes you much more likely to develop lung infections, and often greatly damages your entire respiratory system. If you become a long-term drug user, you may even develop holes in your septum.
4. Tooth Decay
Perhaps one of the most well-known effects of drugs on the body is the severe tooth decay that can result from even short-term drug abuse.
This is because the dangerous chemicals and acidic ingredients wear down your teeth very quickly. In some cases, they can even completely dissolve your tooth enamel.
You can also sustain damage to the jaw bone and gums. Long-term users may even find speaking, eating, or drinking difficult and painful due to the effects of drugs on the mouth.
5. Seizures and Psychosis
Especially if you don’t get the drugs you’re now addicted to quickly enough, you must also face the physical consequences and risks of withdrawal.
Often, this means an increased likelihood of seizures. Especially if you have seizures frequently from withdrawal, you can do permanent damage to the temporal lobe of the brain.
Additionally, you’ll enter into a state of psychosis in many cases. This is emotionally terrifying, and will likely cause paranoid delusions and hallucinations.
6. Problems from a Lack of Sleep
When you abuse drugs, your sleep schedule will be completely thrown off kilter.
You may stay up for days at a time, then crash for just as long. You may find that you only need a few hours of sleep every night.
Sleep deprivation can, of course, make you cranky, and impact your motor skills and reaction time. However, sleep deprivation has other long-term effects on the body.
You’ll be much more likely to have high blood pressure and heart diseases. You’ll be at an increased risk for diabetes. In some cases, it can even lead to an irregular heartbeat.
7. Liver and Kidney Damage
You know that excessive consumption of alcohol can wreak havoc on your liver. However, illegal drugs can lead to liver failure and damage, as well.
Liver failure comes with a whole host of unpleasant side effects. In addition to changing your skin tone, you’ll experience nausea, extreme fatigue, and may even enter into liver failure.
Drug abuse can also lead to permanent damage to the kidneys and an increased likelihood for kidney failure.
You may struggle to go to the bathroom, experience shortness of breath, and have severe swelling in the ankles and feet. You’re also more likely to have a seizure.
In many cases of fatal overdose, kidney failure is the main cause of death.
8. Increased Risk for Stroke
One final reason why drugs are bad?
Because they make you much more likely to have a stroke. In fact, illegal drugs are responsible for between 15-40% of strokes.
If you have a stroke, you may experience permanent paralysis, a loss of motor control, stiff muscles, trouble speaking, and much more.
It’s just not worth it.
You Can Stop the Effects of Drugs on the Body
We know that reading about all the possible — even probable — effects of drugs on the body is frightening.
Addiction is a terrifying and destructive disease, both physically and emotionally. One of the worst side effects of drug abuse is the damage it does to relationships with friends and family members.
We’re committed to helping drug addicts in Athens, Georgia, or those who are willing to travel to our treatment program there.
If you’re struggling with addiction, we want to help you get your life back.
We can also help you to stage interventions for loved ones facing addiction.
Don’t let the side effects of drugs destroy your life. Reach out to us today, and see how beautiful life can be when you’re off drugs.