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Drug misuse, abuse, and addiction can all lead to both short-term and long-term health effects. The effects of drug abuse depend on the type of drug, any other substances that a person is using, and their health history.


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Information on commonly used drugs with the potential for misuse or addiction can be found here. For drug use trends, see our Trends and Statistics. Alcohol People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax. Why does alcohol cause people to act and feel differently? How much is too much? Why do some people become addicted while others do not?

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Drugs are chemicals that affect the body and brain.

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Different drugs can have different effects. Some effects of drugs include health consequences that are long-lasting and permanent. They can even continue after a person has stopped taking the substance.

There are a few ways a person can take drugs, including injection, inhalation and ingestion. The effects of the drug on the body can depend on how the drug is delivered.

What are the effects of drug abuse?

For example, the injection of drugs directly into the bloodstream has an immediate impact, while ingestion has a delayed effect. But all misused drugs affect the brain.

Over time, this behavior can turn into a substance dependency, or drug addiction. Today, more than 7 million people suffer from an illicit drug disorder, and one in four deaths from illicit drug use. In fact, more deaths, illnesses and disabilities are associated with drug abuse than any other preventable health condition. People suffering from drug and alcohol addiction also have a higher risk of unintentional injuries, accidents and domestic violence incidents. The good news is: Substance use disorders are treatable. Clinically known as substance use disorder, drug abuse or addiction is caused by the habitual taking of addictive substances.

Drugs include alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens and opioids. Substance use disorder is a disease, causing people to compulsively use drugs despite consequences. Substance use disorders are associated with a wide range of short- and long-term health effects. Overall, the effects of drug abuse and dependence can be far-reaching. They can impact almost every organ in the human body. The most severe health consequences of drug abuse is death. Deaths related to synthetic opioids and heroin have seen the sharpest rise.

In the past 12 months,people aged 12 or older have used heroin for the first time.

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. This area of the brain affects instinct and mood.

Effects of drug addiction on the brain

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. Although initial drug use may be voluntary, drugs can alter brain chemistry. It can lead to intense cravings and compulsive drug use. Over time, this behavior can turn into a substance dependency or drug and alcohol addiction. These can influence mood, behavior and other cognitive function.

Brain damage may also occur through alcohol-induced nutrition deficiencies, alcohol-induced seizures and liver disease.

In pregnant women, alcohol exposure can impact the brains of unborn babies, resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. It is reported that alcohol-induced brain problems can often be corrected with proper treatment. Abstinence from alcohol for months or years can help partially repair thinking abilities, like memory skills.

The effects of drug abuse on health

Substance use disorders can lead to multiple behavioral problems, both in the short- and long-term, which can include:. These effects of drug abuse have serious consequences, like missed work, punishable offenses, accidents and injuries. In fact, alcohol and drugs are partly to blame in an estimated 80 percent of offenses leading to jail time in the U. These incidents include domestic violence, driving while intoxicated and offenses related to damaged property. Legal and illegal drugs excluding alcohol are involved in about 16 percent of motor vehicle crashes.

In the past year, almost 12 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs, and almost 4, fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement.

Illicit drug use poses risks for pregnant women and their babies. Drugs may contain impurities that can be harmful to an unborn baby.

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Pregnant women who use drugs may be more likely to harm the fetus with risky behaviors and poor nutrition. Drug use can lead to premature birth or low birth weight.

It can also cause the baby to have withdrawal symptoms sometimes in the form of neonatal abstinence syndromebirth defects or learning and behavioral problems later in life. An estimated 14 percent of adults with an illicit substance use disorder reported receiving treatment in the past year.

At Gateway, we offer treatment programs for all levels of drug addiction. Give us a call at We accept all major insurance plans.

If you have any kind of health insurance, you also have some type of coverage for addiction treatment. What is Addiction Medicine?

Health consequences of drug misuse

Blog Contact Top Bar. Call Us Today at Addiction Destroys Dreams, we can help. Effects of drug abuse and addiction.

What is drug abuse? The Effects of Drug Abuse on Health. Side effects of drug addiction may include: A weakened immune system, increasing the risk of illness and infection Heart conditions ranging from abnormal heart rates to heart attacks and collapsed veins and blood vessel infections from injected drugs Nausea and abdominal pain, which can also lead to changes in appetite and weight loss Increased strain on the liver, which puts the person at risk of ificant liver damage or liver failure Seizures, stroke, mental confusion and brain damage Lung disease Problems with memory, attention and decision-making, which make daily living more difficult Global effects of drugs on the body, such as breast development in men and increases in body temperature, which can lead to other health problems The most severe health consequences of drug abuse is death.

Drug Effects on Behavior Substance use disorders can lead to multiple behavioral problems, both in the short- and long-term, which can include:. Effects of Drug Abuse on Unborn Babies. Know the Facts:. Take a self-test for drug or alcohol addiction. Get the Addiction Treatment You Need. Call Us Now Now, is the time to get the help you or your loved ones need.