7 Surprising Diseases of Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is a dangerous habit that harms health, with many complications and associated medical conditions.
A drug is a substance used to cure a disease or illness by making changes to the aim of regaining it back to its normal state. There are different types of drugs manufactured to treat a particular medical condition.
Continuous use of drugs without control is said to be drug abuse which is the use of psychoactive drugs which alter the brain chemistry for particular purposes. Drug abuse is mainly for recreational purposes, rampant among teens and young adults. Drug abuse affects productivity to self, others and the world at large.
For instance, an example of a drug often used is cocaine, and the persistent use of cocaine will lead to a surge of dopamine hormone which can also be called the “happy” hormone. The desire to stay happy might always cause an individual to use cocaine.
Drug abuse affects both mental and physical health.
Misuse of drugs over time leads to drug addiction, whereby you are dependent on the drug, which endangers the body system.
There are several types of drugs that are often abused; they include; stimulants, opioids, depressants, marijuana, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, tobacco, alcohol, cannabis/ marijuana and many more.
Physical effects of drug abuse
Continuous use of drugs affects the physiological formation in the body, such as the breathing rate, blood pressure and many more, which is a significant threat to wellness and can lead to severe medical conditions. Drug misuse’s effects depend on the type of substance used, the route of administration and how continuous it is.
Drug misuse’s effects include impaired memory, slowed breathing, slurred speech, heart failure, hypoxia (loss of oxygen), psychosis, seizure, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, altered physical appearance, and stroke.
Mental effects of drug abuse
The abuse of psychoactive drugs affects the brain putting the brain in a dangerous state. The brain is a complex organ in the body that coordinates most of the activities in the body to maintain equilibrium. Most of the mental disorders caused are often associated with physical effects.
Mental impairment caused by drug abuse affects significant areas in an individual; it throws the sense of judgement off balance and affects the ability to make choices and social interactions detrimentally. For instance, a student who abuses drugs would drop in grades, possibly skip school, lack concentration, and stay unmotivated. Early exposure of young individuals to drugs affects brain chemistry and leads to drug dependency at an early age.
Examples of mental dysfunction usually experienced are paranoia, self-harm behaviours, withdrawal, depression, memory loss, impaired judgement, lack of concentration, anxiety, confusion, bipolar disorders and many more.
What are the risk factors of drug abuse?
There are a series of factors that contribute to drug misuse in individuals, and it varies individuals.
Family history: the chance of drug abuse is higher if any family member is or was a drug abuser.
Early usage of the drug: Individuals who use drugs at an early age are more likely to become drug abusers because of their growing brains. A developing brain’s chemistry can be affected by drug abuse, resulting in dependency on drugs.
Emotional disorders: a depressed fellow will often use a psychoactive drug to reach a high state of dopamine to escape the depressed feeling. Likewise, traumas and worries might also cause an individual to misuse drugs.
Possible signs and symptoms of drug abuse
Drug abuse comes with various signs and symptoms that differ in the abuser. Some might be moderate, while others might be intense and so discomforting. The majority of the signs are related to physical and social effects. These signs include:
- Daily drug usage
- Going beyond normal usage
- Uneasiness on withdrawal of the drug
- Feeling sick when it’s about to quit the drug
- Depression and anxiety
- Usage of drugs beyond prescription
Causes of drug abuse
Drug abuse is related to many causes. The brain is programmed to pursue comfort and ease, to escape stress continuously.
- Family background
- Depression and anxiety
- The feeling of stagnation
- Damaged relationships or poor social interactions
- Lack of confidence
Effects of drug abuse on various Systems in the body
The impact of drug misuse is detrimental to cells, tissues, organs, systems, and the body as a whole. Surprisingly, no system is left out when the consequences set in.
Immune system disorder
Misusing drugs invariably leads to damaged or impaired immunity. Intravenous administration tends to compromise the immunity of the body by compromising the body’s defence. It also kills factors that keep diseases away from the body. For instance, an intravenous drug administration of psychoactive substances can endanger a person to develop HIV from the use of an unsterilised injection. Hepatitis B and C and bacterial infections can set in.
The respiratory tract can also be affected by smoking or snorting drugs. It is also capable of causing respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis and even lung cancer. Excessive intake of intoxicating drugs clouds the sense of judgement resulting in unprotected sex, which can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Drug abuse lessens immune sensitivity caused by a reduced production of white blood cells in the body.
The heart performs an important role that regulates the majority of the vital functions in the body. It pumps blood to all body parts and keeps the body alive. Depressants reduce the heart rate (heartbeat), while stimulants increase the heart. In situations where both drugs are abused, there are chances of developing bradycardia (slow heart rate) and tachycardia (fast heart rate), respectively. Likewise, it affects blood pressure and causes blood clots, ischemic injury to the heart, and circulating difficulty.
The valves in the heart can get inflamed, leading to cardiac valve problems. Moreover, diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, respiratory syncytial virus infections, and acute respiratory distress syndrome can occur.
Oral drugs and prescribed opioids affect the digestive system. The digestive disorder is usually experienced by individuals a few moments after using the drug. It damages the oesophagus and is associated with causes of malnutrition. The chemical content of these drugs messes with the stomach acid leading to a severe condition known as gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD). Bowel necrosis can occur, which kills the tissues of the bowel. There are higher chances of developing chronic constipation, stomach upset, abdominal pain, nausea feeling, pancreatitis and gastrointestinal cancer.
Common conditions commonly experienced are pneumonia, tuberculosis, and lung cancer. The lungs get inflamed from smoking and snorting drugs. As the air-inhaled substance gets into the lung and travels to the alveoli, it damages them alveoli. Persistent drug abuse can cause an individual to lose her sense of smell over time. Moreover, the CNS can be influenced by drug abuse, leading to slow breathing and difficulty stimulating hormones and organs. It is advisable to avoid the use of drugs persistent.
The liver is the house of metabolism in the body; it’s a vital organ that regulates the removal of waste materials or harmful substances from the body. In other words, the liver detoxifies the body. The liver gets overwhelmed when there is excessive use of drugs, thereby causing gradual death of the liver. The use of heroin or cocaine through inhalation leads to inflammation, leading to liver cancer and cirrhosis. The liver can be protected when you desist from drug abuse.
Have you ever been concerned about urinating, getting rid of waste materials without going dehydrated and malnutrition? It’s the kidney. The kidney does the work of ultrafiltration and blood regulation; it retains water and electrolytes and also gets rid of toxins. The kidney is expected to carry out its functions, but the complications caused by harmful substances overwhelm the kidney, and gradually it dies. Rhabdomyolysis is a toxic condition that kills and breaks down muscle tissues into the bloodstream. Also, drug abuse causes renal failure with reduced blood volume and vessel clogging. Stop killing your kidney.
The continuous use of the drug after serving its purpose alters brain chemistry and causes dependency on the drug, leading to an addiction. It damages the centres in the brain responsible for decision-making, concentration and memory.
Benzodiazepines change the excitatory brain signalling to a lower rate. Moreover, taking a high amount of sedative-hypnotics causes difficulty with locomotor movement in individuals and significant cognitive impairment. The brain regulates bodily functions by the production of neurotransmitters called serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine hormone. Drug abuse reduces its production rate, causing the unavailability of neurotransmitters to perform the needed functions.
In conclusion, the body is a complex system with cells, tissues and organs working communally to attain homeostasis or balance. Interfering its functions poses a severe threat to health. Drug abuse is detrimental to health, despite it. Most consequences are not evident until the worst is done; they always occur in the future. Therefore, abstaining from drug abuse and your lifestyle contributes to your total well-being. Your health is your wealth. Stay safe and stay healthy.