There are many dangers of using illegal drugs. The first and foremost negative effect would be developing an addiction. This means an absolute dependence on the chemical just to function. When in active addiction, a person can go to any lengths to obtain their drug of choice, ignoring all of the health-related consequences.
Regular drug consumption has been shown to impair sexual performance in both men and women. Sexual dysfunction includes loss of libido or sexual drive, sexual arousal disorders whereby the inability in men to maintain an erection and for women to maintain sexual arousal during intercourse. Many illegal drugs suppress the immune system. A weakened immune system makes an addict more susceptible to illnesses and infections. Natural killer cells that originate in the bone marrow and circulate in the bloodstream are suppressed by drugs that degrade immunity. In addition, drug consumption in pregnant women has been linked to premature and underdeveloped babies.
Using Illegal Drugs Affects the Brain
All drugs, which include nicotine, cocaine, opioids, marijuana, and others, affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. This area of the brain affects instinct and mood. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. This flood of dopamine is what causes a “high.” It’s one of the main causes of drug addiction.
Although initial drug use may be voluntary, drugs can alter brain chemistry. This can change how the brain performs and interfere with a person’s ability to make choices. It can lead to intense cravings and compulsive drug use. Long term drug abuse also causes seizures, strokes and widespread brain damage. It causes problems in memory, attention, decision making, sustained mental confusion and permanent brain damage.
Using Illegal Drugs Affects Cardiovascular Function
Drugs alter the pace of the heart. Certain drugs cause high activity of the heart while others drop the pulse rates dramatically creating fluctuation in blood pressure levels. Drug abuse causes a wide range of cardiovascular problems ranging from abnormal heart rates to heart attacks. It can also lead to collapsed veins and infections of the blood vessels and heart valves in the case of injected drugs.
Using Illegal Drugs Affects Respiratory Function
Drug abuse can cause one to be more receptive to diseases like pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Side effects of drugs include chest and lung pains, respiratory depression or slow and shallow breathing in the individual. Impaired appetite, increasing temperatures, nausea, and vomiting are also certain effects that are commonly seen. The NIH states that the top drugs that affect the respiratory system are cocaine, DXM, GHB, heroin, inhalants, ketamine, marijuana, PCP, prescription opioids, and tobacco.
Addiction Treatment at Recreate Life Counseling
We are a drug and alcohol rehab for everyone. We take pride in our individualized treatment programs that are tailored to meet the needs of men, women, and families affected by addiction. Here in our Delray Beach or Boynton Beach, Florida locations, we at Recreate Life Counseling offer partial hospitalization which is a day and night treatment with community housing and intensive outpatient therapy.
It is our mission to offer clients help to recreate their lives. We are committed to helping the addicted person start and remain in the recovery process. We will structure a treatment plan in a way that is conducive to the personal vision that you or your loved one have for an addiction-free life. Call now to speak with one of our addiction treatment experts.