American culture continues to change. As states and the federal government continue to legalize drugs, it gives the public the green light to use them recreationally.
The legalization of drugs is having a detrimental effect on the public. First, the individuals using substances continue skewing younger. Second, the addiction effects have become stronger.
Next, the effects of addiction cause lifelong conditions when they don’t lead to death.
Let’s look at the effects of substance abuse on your physical health.
1. Mood Swings
Substances such as cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl come from plants. Producers synthesize them from chemicals and additives. Over 100 years ago, members of the scientific community figured out how to isolate a purified and addictive chemical from the coca plant.
Thus, all drugs are chemicals, and they change the brain’s chemistry. Since illicit substances provide a higher dose of dopamine than the body produces, it causes feelings of euphoria.
When the euphoria wears off, the individual crashes. The brain’s shift back to its default state causes mood signs and impact’s the individual’s physical health.
2. Increases Blood Pressure
Uppers deliver a euphoric state. They also raise the person’s blood pressure. This leads to several complications such as:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Memory issues
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
When coupled with high cholesterol, high blood pressure leads to falling into a coma or death.
If your substance abuse is deep, seek professional help. Hollywood Hills Recovery provides inpatient programs and education.
3. Deterioration of Vital Organs
Drugs pollute the inner workings of the body. Since synthesized substances are foreign substances, the vital organs have a tougher time processing them.
As the vital organs work harder to cleanse themselves and the user’s body, they wear out more quickly. Once the organs begin to deteriorate, the individual’s physical health can develop chronic conditions such as:
- Liver disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Each has lasting effects on an individual’s physical health.
4. Metabolic Alterations
No two people react to substances exactly alike. Some individuals who abuse substances gain weight. Others lose it. Nonetheless, substance abuse leads to metabolic alterations.
A person who gains weight risks becoming obese. Then, they incur the consequences of obesity including stroke, heart attack, and diabetes.
On the flip side, losing too much weight starts starving the body. The condition causes the vital organs to slow down and fail.
5. Withdrawal Symptoms
All substances have a different set of withdrawal systems and timelines. Heroin has the quickest addiction rate and most severe withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal impacts the individual’s physical health; it’s not easy.
Common withdrawal symptoms are:
The symptoms move through three stages, and the most severe occur at stages two and three.
6. Cardiovascular Disease Risk
One of the most severe effects on physical health caused by substance abuse is cardiovascular disease.
Uppers cause the heart to overwork, downers slow it down. If a person’s heart rate falls below the average, they can enter into a coma and die.
Overworking the heart also impacts the entire cardiovascular system. Blockages can lead to a stroke while collapsed vessels can cause a heart attack.
7. Life-Threatening Injuries
The United States Government declared a war on drugs in the 1970s, and it carried over into the 80s and 90s. Despite its efforts, the public found supply on the streets and the black market.
As the public gets its fix from prescription opioids, they negatively impact their physical health through injuries. Car accidents, falls, and fights are some situations that cause life-threatening injuries from consuming drugs.
Cancer is an overgrowth of cells. As the cells spread, they destroy body tissue. Although the medical community has not found a direct link between illicit drug use and cancer, they have found that the substances contain cancer-causing ingredients.
For example, cocaine contains cutting agents that can lead to cancer.
In addition, individuals who misuse prescription medications place themselves at risk for cancer too.
9. Increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Abusing substances impairs an individual’s judgment. In a euphoric state, it’s common for people to let their guards down. They often engage in behavior that they would not in a sober state.
Studies show that substance use increases the likelihood of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. Thus, a lifelong effect on a person’s physical health.
Even though states and the federal government continue moving toward legalizing more drugs, it doesn’t remove their harmful effects on physical health. The best way to avoid hurting your body is to not try them at all. If you fall into the substance abuse abyss, help is available to you. There are professionals available and if you feel embarassed consulting physically, an online suboxone clinic may help you especially to those people who experience opioid use disorder (OUD).