5 Effects of Drug Abuse on the Body

5 Effects of Drug Abuse on the Body

Drug abuse has damaging effects on both body and mind, no matter how long the addiction goes. From the first moment the drug enters the body, it begins to damage the organs around it. The drug begins its dirty work at the very start, but signs of the damage that is happening are not always visible at first.

The physical consequences of drug abuse vary according to the drug’s toxicity, the user’s biology, and how the user consumes the drug. However, whether it’s internalized through ingestion, injection, or inhalation, the drug’s effects will be devastating in the brain and throughout the body. Here are a few examples of how illicit substances can alter body functions.

Effects on the Cardiovascular System

Most illicit drugs affect the cardiovascular system, as explained in this article Opium, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin are especially damaging to the heart. When the user consumes these drugs consistently, the heart can enlarge, leading to cardiovascular conditions like cardiac hypertrophy, where the heart muscles thicken and stiffen. Apart from treating the addiction, a user should visit a medical doctor if they are experiencing the following:

  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue

It’s essential to do so as soon as the user notices these symptoms in order to receive the necessary interventions.

Effects on the Respiratory System

Scientists have been studying drug-induced respiratory diseases for a long time. Signs of Heart Damage from Drugs are the respiratory system, including the airways, pleura, pulmonary circulation, and respiratory muscles. Symptoms of this damage range from a simple cough to bronchospasms and fluid buildup in the lungs.

Effects on the Neurological System

The human brain is a very complex organ that is similar to a computer. The brain is basically a box full of networks of neurons that exchange signals to help direct the body and thoughts. Unfortunately, drugs interfere with the way neurons send, receive, and process these signals.

Some drugs, such as heroin, can hyperactivate neurons because their chemical structure is similar to a natural neurotransmitter in the body. However, they don’t activate neurons in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, which causes the brain to send abnormal messages throughout its network. These messages can cause:

Effects on the Gastrointestinal System

Drugs can also cause gastrointestinal diseases. Substances such as cocaine cause problems like gastrointestinal bleeding, hollow viscus perforation, and even other vascular problems in the intestine, like ischemic colitis. Cocaine also causes blood vessel contraction, which limits the flow of blood to the intestines, causing some sections to die. If a doctor doesn’t perform surgery immediately, gangrene will grow, and it may result in death. This is just one example of the gastrointestinal effect of cocaine use.

Life-Long Physical Consequences

Drugs can cause long-term damage that permanently affects the lives of the user. These drugs act quickly and can be devastating. This is why the sooner an addict can receive help and become clean, the less likely it is that they will have to live with any permanent damage to their body.


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