An overview of the physical effects of drug abuse
Depending on the particular type of substance that an individual is using, there will oftentimes be a number of physical side effects where using every dangerous substance is concerned. Long-term physical effects of drug abuse take a serious toll on an individual’s mental and physical health as well as their bodies. Aside from certain body organs and systems, the abuse of drugs affects a person’s heart and lungs as well as their skin and teeth. Some of these are irreversible while others are.
The more common long-term physical effects of drug abuse
The following 5 areas are regions of the human body that reflect the more common physical effects of abusing drugs:
- Changes in one’s personal appearance – one of the most noticeable areas that are effected by long-term drug abuse is the person’s appearance. Drastic changes in the person’s weight (gaining or losing) occur depending on the drug of choice that the individual is using. There are issues with personal hygiene such as body odor, greasy hair, and just not caring about their appearance overall.
- Cognitive impairments – this results from certain drugs that are known to affect a person’s neurological activity in their brain and cause changes in the levels of dopamine that are produced when the individual is under the influence of the substance. Their ability to reason, attention span, and memory are common. As the individual continues to use the drug, these cognitive impairments become more disabling over time. Fortunately, the individual can possibly improve and reverse these effects after abstaining for about a year.
- Infections of the upper respiratory system – physical effects of drug abuse become apparent with the individual’s upper respiratory system. Drugs that are inhaled or “snorted” can cause some immediate side effects such as deep chest coughs, nose bleeds, and respiratory system inflammation. Additionally, life-threatening issues such as lung failure can result as well as other respiratory complications.
- Periodontal problems and diseases – two of the more common periodontal issues are gum disease and “meth mouth” (tooth rot). The gums become extremely red and bleeding occurs on a regular basis. Meth mouth typically results from methamphetamine abuse. Life-threatening infections of the mouth and tooth loss are very common in the area of periodontal problems and diseases.
- Skin disorders – when an individual continues using a particular substance excessively, there are physical effects of drug abuse that effect the appearance of the person’s skin. Large pores occur around the nose while the skin becomes reddened. As the individual’s blood pressure and heart rate are elevated by certain drugs, the arteries and veins can produce discoloration in the skin.
Help is available
If your drug abuse problems have gotten severe enough where you are noticing that many of the above conditions are happening to you, it’s time to get the professional help that we can offer you here at the Freedom Center. Please call us today at the toll-free phone number listed above and speak with one of our caring staff members about the physical effects of drug abuse and how our programs can help you overcome these issues