Long Term Effects of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction can lead to numerous physical and mental health problems in the future. Drug addiction causes long-term changes to the brain which makes quitting almost impossible. Examples of physical health problems are lung cancer, heart disease, liver damage, and kidney failure. Mental health problems that can occur are depression or anxiety. It is possible to reverse all of these health problems through long-term drug addiction treatment, and to start learning how to live without drugs.

Some physical health problems can occur in certain systems and organs like:

The Cardiovascular System:

– Using cocaine damages the heart every time it is used. Injectable drugs can make veins cave in and there can be infections in your cardiovascular system due to unclean needles. Long-term heart disease and heart failure can be from prolonged stimulant abuse.

The Respiratory System:

– Diseases like emphysema, lung cancer, and chronic bronchitis affect the lungs and any drug that is smoked can damage the lungs. If you have asthma, opioids can make it worse and impair breathing.

Kidney Damage:

– Kidney failure is life threatening, and many drugs can cause prolonged kidney damage. Kidney damage is caused from lack of water (dehydration), failure of muscle tissue, and increased body temperature.

Liver Damage:

– Liver damage can be caused from prescription opioids and heroin, and mixing these drugs with alcohol makes the damage more severe. It is possible in severe cases that there is life-threatening liver damage.

Gastrointestinal Damage:

– Several drugs can cause damage to your intestines and/or stomach. Symptoms can be acid reflux, constipation, and chronic pain.

 The brain and addiction work like a reward system, the neurotransmitter, dopamine rewards the brain every time a drug is taken. Dopamine comes in large doses in the brain, which creates an overwhelming amount of pleasure or euphoria. Overstimulating the brain with dopamine creates changes to the brain. Too much dopamine can make your brain produce less dopamine. This happens because your brain already has too much dopamine from taking the drugs. The result of this is why most long-term drug users feel depressed or lethargic.

Some mental health problems can occur from long-term drug abuse:

Impaired Cognitive Function:

– Glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the reward system, is changed from drug use. It makes thinking and concentrating harder, because it changes the way you think after the glutamate is changed.

Changes in Memory:

– Drug addiction alters a person’s memory and learning, conditioning them to seek out and use drugs. Cues in a person’s environment serve as stimuli, causing them to desire and want a drug on an unconscious basis.

Changes in Brain Connection:

– Drug use has an effect on more than just the brain’s reward system. Drug abuse affects other ways as well, causing physical changes in the relations between neurons, or brain cells, over time. More ties are forming in some places, although they are dwindling in others.

Brain Cells Die:

– Many drugs are toxic and can cause brain cell death. These cells can never live again, and the damage is irreversible.

At UK Detox we work with a wide range of rehabilitation facilities and detox centres around the country to suit your needs and circumstances and provide home detox’s. We are a premier service with an extremely high success rate, offering addicts the opportunity to get clean and sober and live a successful life. We are living proof that it is achievable and now we are here to help you on your journey into recovery. Change your story, change your life.

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