5 Ways Addiction Affects Your Body
Drugs are chemicals, and their unique structures can have a variety of different effects in the body. In fact, some can even alter the way your brain and body function long after you stop using them, sometimes permanently.
Disrupting the Brain Patterns
Your body and brain have a normal functioning pattern on a daily basis. The patterns regulate the brain and central nervous system to produce a healthy body. Introducing any chemical into your body suddenly disrupts the chemical messengers in your brain. The result is your brain sending mixed signals to your body. That is the reason why someone under the influence of alcohol and drugs acts, thinks, and behaves differently than usual. Here are five ways drug addiction and alcoholism can affect your body:
- Injuries. Substance abuse accounts for more disabilities, illnesses, and deaths than any other preventable health condition. In fact, one out of every four deaths in the U.S. is linked to illicit drug abuse. People living with substance dependence are at a greater risk of unintentional injuries, accidents, domestic violence, and related medical problems.
- Effects on the brain. Most abused drugs target the brain by flooding the circuits with dopamine, a neurotransmitter found in the brain that regulates feelings of pleasure, cognition, motivation, emotion, and even movement. Drugs entering the brain can actually change how it functions. These changes result in compulsive drug use, which is the trademark of addiction.
- Birth defects. Drug and alcohol abuse pose enormous risks for pregnant women and their unborn children, including premature birth, withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby, learning and behavioral issues, and birth defects. The unhealthy behaviors of pregnant women who use illicit drugs, such as developing sexually transmitted infections or having extremely poor nutrition, may put their pregnancy at risk.
- Health problems. Drug dependence and abuse impact nearly every organ in your body. It can increase your susceptibility to infections by weakening the immune system, produce cardiovascular diseases, and lead to infections of the heart valves and blood vessels.
- Behavioral problems. Among some of the more common behavioral problems that result from drug addiction are impaired judgment, hallucinations, paranoia, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, and loss of self-control.
As tolerance to the drug increases, it’s common for users to become addicted. Attempting to stop using drugs and alcohol on your own may produce severe withdrawal symptoms that can last up to a year or more after chronic abuse stops. Addiction treatment from Brighton Recovery Center is available to help you or your loved one make it through this rough time.