The Impact of Addiction

consequences of addiction, Impact of Addiction

Why does it matter if you continue to use drugs and alcohol? Because the consequences of continued substance use can be devastating. These effects can take a long time to develop in some people and a much shorter period in others. Yet, continued substance abuse is likely to impact every facet of your life: physical, psychological, and financial.

Consider what continued use of substances can do to your body, even if you don’t use them heavily.

Addiction and Impact on Your Body

The consequences of using drugs and alcohol on your body are numerous. The type of substance you use and the amount typically determine the repercussions. The National Institute on Drug Abuse shares that the following are the most common health consequences of addiction:

  • Increased risk of cancer, including liver, mouth, lung, throat, bowel, esophagus, and breast cancer
  • Heart disease, including the risk of heart failure
  • Lung disease, including the development of COPD and asthma
  • Dental problems, including tooth and bone loss
  • Compromised brain function and cognitive abilities because of damaged nerve cells

In addition to this list, those who have a substance use disorder are at a higher risk of contracting infections, such as hepatitis C, a serious liver disease, and HIV. Infection often occurs due to sharing equipment or engaging in unprotected sex.

Also notable is that the continued use of substances can lead to endocarditis, a type of infection that damages the heart and its valves. Infections related to cellulitis can also occur in any area of the skin.

Risk of Overdose

Any of the above conditions can develop over time. However, overdose can occur with the first use of any substance or down the road after you have used the substance for a long time.

Overdose occurs when the toxicity of the substance in the body reaches a level that shuts down part of the brain, affecting body temperature, the respiratory system, and heart function. Overdose is life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Addiction and Impact on Your Mental Health

Substance use disorders may be brought on by mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, a person without a mental health disorder could also develop one after using substances for some time.

Conditions such as these are common in those who have addiction:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

It is common for a person who has a mental health disorder to try to use substances to deal with the symptoms they have. This can lead to what is called a co-occurring disorder.

Your mental health is also impacted by continued use. You may find that you are desperate to obtain more of a substance. Mood swings are common in those with dependence, especially if they are unable to obtain enough of the substance to keep those moods at bay. Substance use can lead to confusion, cognitive dysfunction, and, over time, severe depression and risk of suicide. 

How Do You Know It’s Time to Get Help for Addiction?

It’s certainly worrisome to see all of the ways substances can impact a person’s physical and mental well-being. Yet, what’s more important is to recognize that getting help now can alleviate or even reverse many of these consequences. 

Here are some examples of when you should contact The Ranch at Dove Tree for immediate help. We offer full-service drug and alcohol treatment in Lubbock, Texas, and we are available 24/7.

  • You are using pain medications and cannot go a day without them. You feel intense pain when you stop using them.
  • You have cravings for a substance when you stop using it or when you cannot use it for even a short amount of time.
  • You cannot think about your life or deal with the emotions you have without having a drink in your hands.
  • Other people have told you that you have a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • You hide how much of a substance you are using, even to people who know you use it.

If you are struggling with substance use disorder, or you feel you could be, your first step should be to get help. Addiction is a disease that requires professional treatment to give you the best fighting chance of overcoming all of these health risks. Without professional treatment, you may find it nearly impossible to break addiction for good.

Our Drug and Alcohol Addiction Team Can Help You

With years of experience and exceptional treatment options, The Ranch at Dove Tree encourages you to take action today. Let us help you to get the treatment you need so you can recover. Contact us now.