The Physical Side of Addiction

The Physical Side of Addiction

While we may know how drugs affect our brains, we may not know the physical damage we sustain with continued drug or alcohol use. The damage substance abuse causes to our bodies is even more long-lasting than the brain, attempting to threaten our daily functions. Most individuals assume that their substance abuse will not go any further than a hangover or a high. Understanding the risks involved can give us a sobering reminder of why we should seek treatment. This article discusses the physical destruction of long-term drug use and why seeking rehabilitation may save your life.

Stimulant Drug Addiction

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), stimulant drugs increase the rate of messages traveling between the brain and body. This causes you to feel more awake, alert, or energetic. Examples of this on the mild end of the scale would be coffee and nicotine. On the dangerous side of the spectrum would be cocaine and amphetamines. 

Stimulants raise heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing by activating the sympathetic nervous system. They can raise body temperature to harmful levels, especially when combined with physical activity. In the short term, they can cause issues by inducing seizures, affecting breath, causing, causing hyperthermia, and bringing cardiovascular effects. These are only short terms issues. When continuing into the long term, these issues increase in dangerous ways. 

Repeated stimulant usage can lead to aggression, paranoia, or psychosis in the individual. Additionally, using any stimulant can lead to addiction since the brain cannot create the usual amount of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that causes pleasure. As a result, the individual may develop a dependence on the substance. This can increase issues with increased blood pressure, irregular heart rate, and nutritional deficiencies. It can progress to even more physical symptoms such as asthma, chronic insomnia, and heart failure. 

Depressant Drug Addiction

Depressants described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) are considered central nervous system (CNS) depressants. They are defined as medication that lessens excitement and arousal. This includes sedatives, tranquilizers, or hallucinogens. 

The majority of CNS depressants work to affect the brain by preventing brain activity. Messages between the brain and body are slowed down due to their impact on the central nervous system. They impair one’s ability to focus, coordinate, and quickly react to unanticipated events. A person may feel more at ease and less constrained after taking little dosages. However, these substances are often abused, affecting long-term health. 

A flurry of side effects crops up when you attempt to stop taking CNS depressants. Among them are seizures, anxiety, insomnia, increased blood pressure, and hallucinations. These side effects have severe effects on the body, and it’s considered unsafe to withdraw without medical assistance. 

Withdrawal symptoms from CNS depressants can be potentially life-threatening. This is why addiction treatment centers are critical for those who are addicted to these types of drugs. Sobriety is essential, but safely receiving treatment takes top priority. This shows how dangerous drugs can be to the body, taking over normal bodily functions and ingraining itself as its entity. 

Alcohol Addiction

While alcohol addiction is more commonly accepted in our society, its effects on our bodies and brains are detrimental. In no context is alcohol good for the body, but long-term exposure can adversely affect physical function. 

When someone misuses alcohol in harmful ways, it’s referred to as alcohol abuse to them and those around them. Alcohol abuse can cause blacking out, binge drinking, drinking excessively, and using alcohol as a coping technique. In the short term, drinking excessively causes people to lose memory, slur speech, lower inhibition, and cause slowed reaction times. 

For the long term, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism has been shown to cause chronic health issues. This ranges from high blood pressure and stomach ulcers to liver disease and cancer. It’s an unforgiving condition that will not go away quickly with treatment. All addiction should be taken seriously, but we must be extra vigilant with drinking as it’s not openly seen as bad for you.

Treatment for Addiction

Addiction can wreak havoc on your brain and body. Its effects go far beyond behavior and may influence the future. It can rob you of years of your life, taking away time with your friends and family. Getting better is the first step towards a life of fulfillment instead of a life of sleepwalking. 

Consider addiction treatment if you’re using drugs or alcohol frequently, hiding your habits from your friends and family, and canceling plans because of use. We want you to be free from the grip of addiction on you and your future. Our facility provides trained experts ready to walk you through detoxing and guide you in patient care. Sobriety is possible for everyone, and it should be the next choice for anyone struggling. 

Addiction has domino effects, starting in one area of your life and toppling the rest in due time. Once you begin abusing substances, you may find considerable damage follows, but that isn’t the end of the story. First Steps Recovery knows how destructive addiction can be and wants to pull you out of the rubble. We have trained clinicians and staff waiting to serve you night and day. This is not a journey you will be walking alone. We understand the pain you are experiencing and will dedicate ourselves to helping you find your happiness again. To learn more about how First Steps Recovery can help, please get in touch with us at (844) 489-0836.

Addiction has domino effects, starting in one area of your life and toppling the rest in due time. Once you begin abusing substances, you may find considerable damage follows, but that isn’t the end of the story. First Steps Recovery knows how destructive addiction can be and wants to pull you out of the rubble. We have trained clinicians and staff waiting to serve you night and day. This is not a journey you will be walking alone. We understand the pain you are experiencing and will dedicate ourselves to helping you find your happiness again. To learn more about how First Steps Recovery can help, please get in touch with us at (844) 489-0836.

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