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The effects of substance use addiction

Educational Resources

Of course, it comes as little surprise to hear that substance use comes with negative consequences. Still, it’s easy to underestimate the severity of drug addiction, or to simply believe you or your loved ones are immune to these negative effects.

Drug addiction is very real, and the long-term and short-term effects can be severe and even life-threatening. But there is hope. Call the skilled, caring team at Rosecrance at 866.928.5278 to get help now.

How drug addiction affects the brain

Substances are known for altering the chemistry of the brain, which adversely affects a person’s ability to make clear, rational decisions. This can then lead to compulsive craving, seeking and continued use.

Substances can increase a person’s naturally occurring dopamine level, which controls the brain’s ability to perceive reward reinforcement. When dopamine is released in excess, the brain craves more of that feel-good experience. A person who is trapped in this self-sabotaging cycle may know they are causing substantial damage but feel powerless to stop it.

How drug addiction affects behavior

Some of the short-term and long-term behavioral and mental health consequences of drug abuse include the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impulsiveness

These behavioral changes can lead to even more serious consequences. Thousands of automotive accident fatalities each year are due to drug and alcohol abuse.

Aside from the life-threatening consequences of impaired judgment and impulsiveness, substance use can lead people to lose their jobs, become alienated from friends and family and even serve jail time for related offenses.

How drugs affect the body

Substance use and addiction can affect almost every major system in the body. Here are just a handful of examples of the harmful health consequences, many of which can become lifelong ailments if the addiction is left untreated.

  • Increased risk of liver failure, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
  • Increased risk of gum disease and lung disease
  • Blackouts
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Kidney, liver, or bone marrow damage
  • Premature aging of the skin
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Elevated heart rate and cardiac damage
  • Mental confusion or memory problems
  • Nausea and abdominal issues

The road to lifelong recovery starts at Rosecrance

If you or a loved one is feeling trapped by an addiction, isolated or alone, there is hope. Rosecrance can help you break the cycle and create a roadmap for lifelong recovery with an individualized treatment plan.

Learn more and speak to our caring staff about your recovery options by calling Rosecrance at 866.928.5278. Our experienced team provides both residential and outpatient treatment options

Get Help Now (866) 330-8729