Drugs affect the body in various detrimental ways. Substance use affects several body systems, and each different drug affects the body in different ways. The individual effects of substance use will vary from person to person. How a particular drug may impact you depends on factors unique to your body size, overall health, the type and amount of the drug you take, and whether you are consuming alcohol or taking other drugs at the same time. 

It is also important to remember that drugs have both short and long-term effects, including dependency, addiction, and overdose. Without addiction treatment, the most significant impact of drug addiction is overdose or death. According to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70,000 Americans died from a drug-involved overdose in 2019. 

The Negative Impacts Addiction Has on Your Physical Health

Although various drugs have different effects, there are several side effects of short and long-term substance use that are often seen regardless of one’s substance of choice. Drug use affects virtually every organ in the human body to varying degrees. 

  • Ongoing drug use progressively weakens your immune system, significantly increasing your risk for illness and infection. 
  • Most illicit (and prescription) drugs affect your heart and circulatory systems. Many affect your heart rate and alter your blood pressure. These changes can lead to heart attack, collapsed veins, and blood infections from injected drug use. 
  • Drug use impacts your digestive system causing nausea, appetite, weight changes, constipation, and stomach cancers. 
  • Many drugs affect your respiratory system by changing your respiratory rate. In some cases, effects on your lungs can lead to respiratory failure. 
  • Drugs also impact your reproductive system, liver, kidneys and have significant detrimental impacts on cognitive health and function. 

Negative Impacts Addiction Has on Your Mental Health

All drugs – including tobacco and alcohol – affect the brain’s reward circuit. These parts of the brain affect how your brain experiences and perceives joy and pleasure. Drugs target specific receptors in the brain responsible for controlling dopamine release. When they connect to dopamine receptors, it encourages higher than normal dopamine levels to be released and stay in the system. Eventually, those who struggle with addiction are unable to experience pleasure and joy without using substances. Although the initial use of drugs may be voluntary or experimental, drug use eventually alters (physically) the chemistry of your brain. These changes alter how your brain performs and can interfere with your ability to make healthy and safe choices. Over time, if the user does not seek treatment, this can lead to intense cravings, dependency, and addiction. 

In addition to physical and functional changes within the brain, addiction can alter your mental health. If you currently struggle with a pre-existing mental health condition, substance use and withdrawal can worsen your symptoms. When someone chooses to withdraw from substances, it can also trigger new mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and other significant mood changes. 

What CRC Is Doing To Help Our Clients Get Healthy

Seeking comprehensive, evidence-based addiction is a first and vital step on your journey to recovery. At Cal Recovery Center, our uniquely designed addiction treatment programs consider the unique needs of our clients. Your treatment plan not only considers your treatment needs related to your addiction but also your holistic needs as a whole person.

At CRC, our alternative treatment options and focus on your physical health help to ensure a better opportunity to attain sobriety in the healthiest manner possible. Our onsite chef provides meals focused on healthy cooking specific to your dietary needs. Part of our admissions program consists of nutritional testing to help ensure we can provide the best nutritional support throughout your stay. Your treatment program also considers any pre-existing medical or mental health conditions you may struggle with. 

Our goal at CRC is to ensure your treatment program addresses all of your treatment needs and goals. Don’t wait another day to start your recovery journey. Contact the admissions team at Cal Recovery Center today. 

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