The Effects of Substance Abuse

The Effects of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is known to have several negative long-term effects on the body as well as the mind. Problems with physical health include heart disease and liver damage, while mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are more likely to develop. One thing that’s certain, whether physical or mental, the effects of drug addiction takes years to recede, if at all.

Short term

  • Alcohol: slurred speech, coordination problems, impaired judgement, and mood swings.
  • Hallucinogens: hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, intense anxiety or depression, and
    impaired motor control.
  • Opiates: pinhole pupils, slurred speech, itchy skin, dysphoria, drowsiness, and vomiting.

Long term

On the body:

  • Abuse of stimulants, like cocaine, can lead to heart disease and infections in the vessels
    of the heart.
  • Opiates aggravate asthma, while other drugs that are smoked can lead to lung cancer,
    chronic bronchitis, or emphysema.
  • Heroin and opiates cause liver damage, and most drugs destroy the kidneys because of
    constant dehydration and increased body temperature.

On the brain:

  • Cognitive function is impaired and thinking becomes more difficult.
  • Memory and learning is affected, craving the drug is conditioned into brain.
  • Connections between neurons are modified in some places, and destroyed in others.
  • Brain cells are killed by drug toxicity.