Top 7 Health Consequences Of Drug Abuse

There are a wide range of direct and indirect effects associated with drug abuse, both short- and long-term. Several factors affect the effectiveness of the drug, including the kind of drug, the quantity, and manner of consumption, and the addict’s health. Health consequences of drug abuse include nutritional concerns, sleeping pattern disruption, impairment of decision-making, violence, injury risk, mental disorders, and other life-threatening diseases. Unborn babies may suffer adverse effects from drug abuse during pregnancy. Social, economic, and health costs associated with drugs of abuse and infections are enormous. Get professional help if a loved one is abusing drugs. Consider options like drug rehab Orange County to ensure a safe and healthy recovery environment for them.

It’s imperative to educate oneself about the consequences. Here are 7 health consequences of drug abuse:


Infection and Damaged Immune System

Injectable drugs carry an extremely high risk of infection, especially HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and several other infections that are caused by sharing dirty needles. Drugs like cocaine, opioids, steroids, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription, etc are commonly injected that have a high possibility of contracting infections. Cocaine impacts the immune system’s capability to create WBC, which impairs the immune system’s response to infection.


Liver and Kidney Damage

Use of Tobacco, MDMA, Heroin, Inhalants, Synthetic Cannabinoid, Nicotine, etc may cause kidney damage; directly or indirectly, through dehydration, dangerous body temperature increase or muscle breakdown.

Besides metabolizing nutrients, the liver is also a primary detoxification site for many kinds of substances. With high drug abuse, the liver can become overburdened with metabolic duties and its tissues begin to break down. Inhalants, steroids, heroin, etc can severely damage the liver, causing hepatitis or cirrhosis.


Cardiovascular and   Respiratory Issues

Cocaine, methamphetamines, and other drugs can adversely affect the cardiovascular system, causing abnormal heart rates, strokes, and heart attacks. Cardiovascular issues like collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves can be caused due to injecting drugs.

Drugs can damage alveoli in the lungs, making the upper respiratory system more prone to infection. CNS depressants like opioids can make breathing shallow or irregular. Sometimes chronic shallow or depressed breathing patterns can damage other organ systems. Both marijuana and nicotine vaping have caused serious lung diseases and even deaths. Vitamin E acetate has been linked to many of these illnesses.



Chronic marijuana use may sometimes cause Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, a condition characterized by recurrent bouts of nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. In addition to causing abdominal pain and bowel tissue decay, cocaine can also cause acid reflux, severe constipation, and abdominal pain when used with opioids. There are also some dangerous gastrointestinal effects associated with cocaine and methamphetamine use, such as mesenteric arterial vasospasm, which can cause a loss of blood supply between the heart and gastrointestinal system. In severe cases, ischemic colitis can result in bowel tissue death, a condition known as bowel necrosis.


Musculoskeletal Issues

The control and strength of the muscles are affected by many drugs like MDMA, Synthetic Cathinones, PCP, Rohypnol, etc. Taking steroids during childhood or adolescence, resulting in artificially elevated levels of sex hormone, can compromise bone growth and cause short stature. The use of PCP can result in severe muscle contractions. Additionally, some drugs can cause muscle cramps, relaxations, and weakness of the muscles.


Neurological Issues

The euphoric effects of addictive drugs are produced in the brain. Some can also damage the brain through seizures, strokes, and direct toxic effects on the brain cell. Benzodiazepines, alcohol, and other sedative-hypnotics reduce excitatory brain signaling leading to a greater sense of calm or relaxation. High doses of benzodiazepines and other sedative-hypnotics are also associated with movement problems, significant cognitive impairment, and memory loss. These changes can hinder experiencing simple pleasure of life, managing stress, controlling impulses and making basic life decisions.


Hormonal and Mental Health Issues

Heroin, MDMA, steroids, and other drugs can disrupt normal hormone production in the body, which results in both reversible and irreversible changes. Infertility and testicle shrinkage in men whereas hair growth and male-pattern baldness in women are among these changes.

There are several psychological problems that can result from chronic use of some drugs, and these include paranoia, anxiety, aggression, depression, hallucinations, and similar issues.


To stop intoxicating substances from harming physical and mental health, it is imperative to safely detox with the help of a medical professional and complete a comprehensive rehab program.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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