Abusing any kind of drug – whether illegal or prescription – ultimately has a detrimental effect on a person’s health.

Taking prescription drugs in higher dosages or more frequently than recommended by a doctor will be too much for your body to process, causing exacerbated side effects. Illegal drugs in any form are unregulated, therefore you never know exactly what you’re consuming. They contain hundreds of harmful toxins and their effect on your body is essentially a lottery.
We all know that drug abuse can lead to death – but what can it do to the body before this drastic eventuality? There are hundreds of gradual effects on health that can build up over time when a person abuses drugs. Many of these effects are caused by party drugs that people take from time to time and don’t realize the serious consequences on their bodies. This is a particular risk to young people.
If you’re a young adult or know one who is involved with drugs, college recovery centers that combine rehab with re-entering education could be the recovery pathway for you. Patients who have attended these rehab institutions in New Jersey have experienced great success in their recovery. Contact facilities like SOBA College Recovery today to see how they could help you.
Read below to see how drug abuse can affect the whole body.

Respiratory Effects

Smoking any drug can lead to terrible effects on the respiratory system. Smoking marijuana can cause chronic bronchitis; crack cocaine can cause lung damage, and heroin can cause breathing to slow down and block the entry of air to the lungs. Combined with other negative effects of these drugs, many more health problems are created alongside the big issue of addiction.

Kidney Damage

Ketamine, MDMA and synthetic cannabinoids can lead to kidney damage or even failure. The main cause for this is usually due to the person becoming dehydrated without realizing while the drugs are in their system.
Steroid use can also cause kidney problems, as well as continued heroin use.

Effects on the Heart

Research has shown that use of most drugs has adverse cardiovascular effects – especially stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine, and even prescription drugs like Ritalin, used to control ADHD). These cause the heart to work overtime, induce an abnormal heart rate, and can even end in a heart attack if overdosed.

Effects on the Brain

Drug abuse has many known neurological effects. People tend to take party drugs due to their euphoric effects on a person’s brain and mood, but more sinister effects on the brain can take place. The first one is an addiction, which causes the person to repeatedly seek out the drug and eventually cause the body to be dependent on it to perform basic functions. It essentially ‘rewires’ parts of the brain’s circuitry that handles pleasure, impulse control, learning, decision-making, and memory.
Damage to the brain from drug abuse can also lead to seizures and strokes, impacting a person’s life forever.
A third important effect is on drug user’s mental health. Different drugs have different effects on the brain and mindset: for instance, speed is a paranoia-inducing drug, and LSD has hallucinogenic effects that can be incredibly scary.

Drug abuse: Other Effects

Each drug has a different set of side effects, and even the same drug has different effects on different people – it all depends on an individual’s unique body and brain chemistry.

However, you can be certain that abusing drugs as a whole can have these detrimental effects on your body and health:
  • Pale, dry and spotty skin
  • Red, tired eyes
  • Increased susceptibility to colds, infections, and viruses due to depleted immune system
  • Cause vomiting and nausea
  • Experiencing a crash or ‘comedown’ after drug use which causes low mood.
It is also important to remember though that as drug abuse affects people differently, sometimes a person will show no physical signs that they are struggling with drug abuse and continue to function practically as normal.

If you suspect someone you know is abusing drugs, you should broach the subject sensitively and tactfully and show that you’re there to support them if they choose to seek help.