Other Health Effects of Drug Abuse
Several other health effects can be associated with drug abuse. Whether doing it deliberately or unintentionally the risks involved are the same. It ranges from simple ones to the types that are life-threatening. Drugs are made up of chemical structures that affect the body in various ways. It can be short-term or long-term, or others can be even permanent depending on the type used. That is why being knowledgeable with these health complications is very essential. As they say, the one who knows always has an edge. Let us talk about some of these.
We can classify these other health effects of drug abused into two categories: physical and psychological. Some people do not realize that they have the problem until they feel sudden changes in their body or their behavior and personality.
Take a look first at the physical aspects.
- Weak immune system. Misused of drugs can cause a weaker immune system which then makes the body more prone to various kinds of infection. It lowers your resistance to different virus and bacteria that cause several diseases. Common types of these drugs that are frequently misused are methamphetamine, hallucinogens, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other inhalants.
- Cardiovascular problems. These complications can be in the form of irregular heart rate to a serious one which is a heart It is because over dosage of drugs causes clogged blood vessels and damaged veins which are the perfect ingredients for cardiovascular problems. Having high blood pressure is also related with this.
- Abdominal pain. Ill-used of these health products can also cause abdominal pain which leads to vomiting and nausea. Diarrhea is also associated with this.
- In some cases, it causes impotence in men like frequent smoking of tobacco and nicotine.
- Increase in body temperature. It can lead to various health conditions, also depending on the medical history of the person.
The heart, kidney, liver, and lungs are the most common parts of the body being affected by drug addiction. Frequent use of other chemicals like stimulants and opioids may cause lasting health effects that will damage a person’s life.
Now let us talk about the psychological effects. This one is very critical because it deals with the brain and behavior that are being studied in connection with drug addiction. When these chemicals enter the nervous system, it targets its reward system with Dopamine. This substance is responsible for regulating the feelings, movement, emotion, motivation, and cognition of the person. It makes an individual crave for that prescribed medicine or illicit drugs over and over again until he or she becomes fully dependent on it. Here are the mental and emotional effects.
- Change brain chemistry. It obstructs the person’s capacity to make decisions and may also lead to compulsiveness as well as having the intense desire for drugs intake. If not responded properly will result in dependency on the substance.
- Mood changes. Well, you may say that mood swings are perfectly normal. But if it is frequently happening and already affecting the lives of the person involved as well as the people around him or her, then it is not considered normal. Example of this is anxious and depressed which are all side effects of the drug they are using.
- Irritability and aggressiveness. Some say that a person suffering from the psychological effects almost changes his or her personality; you might even say that you already don’t know the individual. Being always irritable surely affects the people around the patient. Aggressiveness is also a big problem which if not controlled can also lead to other health issues.
- Hopelessness. Another effect is that the person easily loses hope. His or her behavior in facing different trials and challenges eventually weakens to the point that the individual thinks that there is nothing he or she can do. It can also lead to suicidal thoughts at some point.
- Loss of memory. Having blackouts is also one of the signs that the person is suffering from ill-used of drugs. Nerve damage in the brain can be associated with this.
You can also say that drug abuse affects the lifestyle of people in a way that they lose their family and friends because of the wrong choice. But as a loved one of the patients, you must not let this easily slipped away. Show that you truly care for the person by helping him or her recover from the addiction that is slowly ruining his or her life. Remember that in times like this, your support is very vital.
The effects of drug misuse commonly result to deteriorating performance in school or work. It can lead to dismissal, ejection and other disciplinary action. Worse is that it may also cause legal troubles. It will damage your health and your life as a whole.
How does Other Health Effects of Drug Abuse Being Diagnosed
The first step here is to diagnose the drug addiction of the person causing the health complication. As of now, no single exam can determine definitively if a person has a disorder in chemical use. It is a process. That is why health professionals do this by checking the medical history of the patient as well as his or her family. They also gather some mental-health details about the individual. The specialist will then conduct a physical examination. It usually consists of lab tests.
Asking questions about the mental-health is also part of the diagnosis. They commonly ask if the person is suffering from depressions, delusions, hallucinations and other behavioral problems. Instances like this, the patients need to be very honest with the health professionals. The former should be able to trust completely the latter. Otherwise, the whole process will be a failure.
The screening will determine if the person is suffering from the psychotic disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. It is also important to determine if the substance or chemical is preventing the individual from doing his or her essential duties at home, school or work. Identifying if the person continues to use the drugs despite knowing the negative effects of it physically or psychologically must also be taken into consideration.
Management of Drug Addiction
People must have easy access to these treatments. It is very essential to think about to avoid further health problems. When it comes to managing drug addiction one must remember that no sole treatment is applicable for everyone. It is not also the drug use alone that should be dealt with but all of the needs of the patient. The sad part about here is that most of these medications are underutilized not because the sufferers cannot afford it but because of mental reasons. It sure is alarming. However, taking a look at the following treatments will always be essential.
- Detoxification. This process is under abstinence that helps the individual decrease his or her dependency on drug use. Detoxification is usually conducted at a hospital where several medications are applied depending on the chemical that the patient is dependent on. For example, people who are reliant on narcotics will receive treatment in the form of a combination of oxycodone hydrochloride and aspirin while those that are dependent on heroin will receive a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone.
- Rehab. It is used when the symptoms of drug abuse are not that serious. It is an outpatient treatment wherein supports from counselors are used in a group or home setting. Daily monitoring is needed here to ensure that there are positive changes in the patient. It usually consists of different forms of behavioral therapy such as:
- Behavioral therapy that deals with the cognitive aspect. It helps the person identify and avoid the situations in which drug abuse can be related.
- Family therapy in a multidimensional way. It is designed to minimize the negative effects of ill-used of these chemicals to the family and improve the overall status of this smallest component of the community.
- Motivational interview. It makes the people ready to adjust themselves, especially their behavior and go into treatment.
- Incentives to motivate. A reward system can be used here as a positive reinforcement to help the person refrain from using drugs.
These therapies are intensive and rigorous at first but after some regular sessions, the number of hours decreases to assist in maintaining the patient’s recovery. Some of these therapies will be more effective if combined with other medications to meet the patient’s changing needs. These must also be well-planned and reviewed from time to time.
Other co-occurring health conditions must also be checked like AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Different steps to reduce the risks of these illnesses must also be clear to the patient.
In some cases, the family and friends failed to discourage the person about his or her addictive behaviors. Worse, is that they even support him through extending financial support or other ways. If these people suffering from these conditions are really important, you will not tolerate any of these. This plays a vital role in their recovery.
One can truly say that the management and treatment of drug misused become successful if the following are observed in the life of the person.
- Stop using drugs. Of course, this is the main goal. The different medications conducted must lead to this result. The process can be hard especially if the symptoms involved are a little bit serious. But with great determination on the side of the patient and the knowledge and expertise of the health professional, it is possible.
- Staying drug-free. Staying out of drugs is a different thing. People can stop using it, but after some time they might come back to their old lifestyle. For the medication to be considered a success, the patient must be able to get rid of these harmful chemicals for good. This will be possible if there will be a continuous follow-up of the condition of the patient long after the treatment. This is to ensure if the brain has been able to re-stabilize itself in a way that all the cravings and desire to use these drugs are completely gone.
- Productivity. From being a liability of the family and the society, people who are able to fully recover from drug addiction become asset of the society. They become productive in their work and their other tasks as an individual.
Knowing these things is vital to help these ill-users of drugs completely changed. If these people can do the things mentioned above, they can have a brand new start.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Cases of other health effects in connection with drug abuse are alarming. In the US alone there are about 22.5 million people with ages of 12 years old up needed treatment and medication from the use of illegal drugs and alcohol addiction. This situation does not only affect the individual but also the societies as a whole especially if these people are now involved in some criminal offenses.
Being familiar with these details is essential so that you can avoid ruining your life. Aside from having these health problems, being put into jail and other detention facilities is miserable and stressful, right? That is why you must be able to think ahead. Yes, there can be other factors that can pressure you to do so like peers and friends. But if in the first place you are well-informed about the different illnesses that you will get, surely you would not give it a try.
These drugs must always be used with strict caution because it can make or break your life. Whenever in doubt about the health product, always visit your doctor. It is always better to be safe. Avoid instances and situation where you know you can get involved with drug abuse. Learn to focus on other things that are worth your time, and you will not suffer from these health effects.