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Friday, June 14, 2024

Respiratory Effects Related to Drug Abuse

Having a healthy respiratory system is very important. Its main function is to provide the blood with oxygen so that as blood flows all over our body, it carries with it the oxygen. This process is made possible through breathing. As you know, we breathe in oxygen, and we breathe out carbon dioxide.

However, because of drug abuse, the respiratory system can suffer from different problems. Being aware of these is vital because who knows you might be doing some of these activities that can be considered as a misuse of these medicines and other stuff. Let us talk about some of these drugs.

  • Marijuana. This drug is legal in some countries but when misused through regular smoking of marijuana, may also lead to different respiratory problems ranging from the simple effects to the complicated ones. Frequent coughing, production of phlegm, lung infections with increased risks and greater probability of blocked airways are some of these. Marijuana can also cause lung cancer and other defects in the respiratory tract. It is because of the carcinogens and irritants it contains. The drug contains enzymes that can change some hydrocarbons into different forms of carcinogenic, which at an extreme level can create malignant cells.
  • Cocaine. Lung damage is the most common effect when you smoke cocaine. It may begin with a simple chest pain until it becomes a serious respiratory failure.
  • Heroin. The effects of this drug in the respiratory system include different lung problems like tuberculosis and pneumonia. The unhealthy lifestyle of the abuser can also be associated with heroin’s miserable effects on breathing. Most of the preservatives, additives and other related chemicals that you commonly found just along the street, includes elements that are not that easily dissolved by the body which then results to blocked and congested blood vessels that are supposed to deliver oxygen and blood to the kidneys, liver, lungs, and brain. If not treated properly and immediately, the simple infection can lead to death.
  • Inhalants. Different inhalants also, if abused through excessive inhalations can cause various complications. Example of this is Asphyxiation, which if taken up more than the right amount, can displace the oxygen in the lungs and replace it with inhaled fumes that become highly concentrated over time. It will result in suffocation because the air now is being blocked from entering the lungs. Others will also experience choking.
  • Tobacco and Nicotine. Smoking cigarettes have been part of lives of many people. They say it is their way to relax. Despite the several warnings of the dangerous effects it brings, they keep on doing it. The substances used in cigarettes such as tobacco and nicotine can cause emphysema, bronchitis and lung cancer.
  • Excessive intake of this drug can cause slow breathing as it also blocks the airways. If you have asthma, it can make the symptoms worse.

Signs and Symptoms of Respiratory Effects

The signs and symptoms of drug abuse in the respiratory system can come in different ways. But the common logic here is that the body is not receiving the appropriate amount of oxygen because of clogged blood vessels and blocked airways. Knowing these indications is very significant so that you will be able to respond immediately and appropriately. Take a look at some of these.

  • Increased breathing rate. One of the common signs that a person is not getting sufficient oxygen is the increase in some breaths which is normally counted per minute.
  • Changes in color. Pale color of the skin that can sometimes be gray, bluish color in the finger nails, around the mouth or on the lips, are some of the color changes that a person will experience if he or she is receiving an inadequate supply of oxygen.
  • Increased sweating. Because of the increased breathing rate, there will be more sweating in the head, although the skin is not warm if touched. In most cases, the skin can feel cool or moist.
  • Whistling. This whistling sound that can be heard in each breath specifies that the air passages are getting smaller which makes breathing more difficult.
  • Wider nose opening. It suggests that the person suffering from the respiratory effects need to breathe harder.
  • Grumbling. Some grumbling sound can also be heard which indicates that the body is trying to maintain the lungs open through keeping air in it.

These are just some of the common symptoms one can experience. Taking action the soonest whenever you feel any of these or when you are in doubt is very vital. Do not take these signs for granted because chances are you are making a mild complication grow serious along the way. It will be more stressful and troublesome, right? Be responsible for yourself and visit a health professional for a check-up. Their knowledge and expertise will help you through the situation.

Management of Respiratory Complications

Now let us talk about some of the medications and proper management of these health problems.

The first thing you can do to counter these negative effects is to stop using the drugs causing the complication. If according to your diagnosis the cause is tobacco smoking, then you must quit cigarettes. Although this is so much easier said than done, you should give it a try and be responsible for your action. In some cases where it is already considered as an addiction and a serious case, medication with the assistance of health professionals must be conducted. The following can also be done.

  • Clinical Examination. It is consists of studying the medical history of the patient like if there are previous infections and complications. Doing this will help determine the most appropriate treatment.
  • Respiratory Physiotherapy. It plays a significant role to verify if the lung is still able to perform its function well. Chest expansion strategy is applied here. Hyperinflation is also part of the procedure, where pressure breathing is conducted. It can be done through a facial mask or a mouthpiece.
  • Ventilatory Support. It is done through clearing the airways from all secretions. The clean suction strategy is then applied.

These are just some of the medications and treatments that you can apply. Visiting your doctor must not be taken for granted. First of all, you must not be shy about your condition because there are a lot of people around the globe who are suffering the same. The bottom line here is that you need to be treated. Aside from said clinical procedure. The social environment you are moving around also play an essential part.

  • Support of family and friends. Of course, this is very important. It will let you know that you are not alone in your battle. Times like this, the love and care of your family and friends are the one that will give you hope and provide you the courage to change completely. On the part of the family, their support must be greatly felt by the patient. Making them strong in situations like this must be prioritized.
  • Rehabilitation facilities. Turning yourself into this rehabilitation facility is a very brave move. It means that you are determined enough to get rid of the addiction causing the respiratory complications. It also means that you are accepting in yourself that there is something wrong. Inside this facility, you may undergo different pieces of training and workshops so that you will not abuse drug again. There are also different types of rehab with varying cost. Being informed about this before deciding is also very important.
  • Decontamination. It will be a cleansing process where the accumulated inhaled fumes from excessive intake of drugs are being removed from the body. You can ask the experts to learn more about this.
  • Other recommended procedure. Based on your current condition and the recommendation of the specialists, you can try other procedure that will help you change for the better. The important part here is that you are serious along the process. Because no matter how effective the method can be, if you are not determined enough, then nothing will happen.


As we know, prevention is better than cure. It is a simple line yet if being taken seriously will save you from all the troubles and difficulty of having respiratory failures. It can be hard at first, especially if you are under peer pressure and other social factors. But if you can think ahead and be well-informed about the different illnesses that you can get along the way, surely abusing these drugs will not be a part of your life.

All that is over is bad for our health, same with those that are deficient. That is why you must know what is “just enough.” These drugs are primarily created to help us live a convenient and comfortable life, they are the fruits of the advances in technology when it comes to medicines, but if for some reason or another, you are misusing it by having an excessive dose, then, you are just ruining your life. Do not do that please, you are special.

Don’t you want to breathe easily and comfortably? The things you get from drug abuse are not enough reason to do it, preventing it must be your main concern. Reading some articles and magazines that will give you tips on how to prevent ill-used of drugs will also be very helpful.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Sometimes the case is that you are not aware that you are already using the medicinal products in a wrong way. Chances are it is a little bit too late when you discover that you have already respiratory complications. You do not want this to happen, right? Let us talk about other important factors that you must consider.

  • Right dosage. It is the most vital detail that you must be well-informed. Exceeding the right dosage can be the start of the patient’s great dependence on the product which then later turns into drug abuse. Knowing how many times you must take it in a day or for a period is very essential. Remember that the boundary between the right dosage and the over dosage is very thin. That is why being very careful is a must.
  • Proper identification. The medicine you are using must be prescribed by a health professional as much as possible. Pharmacy and other health stores also play a big role in this. Strict selling of drugs under doctor’s prescription must always be observed like Adderall, Ativan, Ambien, Benzodiazepines, Codeine, Fentanyl, Ketamine, and Hydrocodone to name a few. Prohibited street drugs are cocaine, marijuana, heroine, mushrooms, crack, and meth. While synthetic drugs are: spice, salvia, khat, bath salts, LSD, and ecstasy.
  • Checking of symptoms after removal of drugs. The decrease in the manifestation of the symptoms of the respiratory complications after the removal of drugs is the normal thing to be expected. But if other instances occur, then consulting the doctor must always be the first step. This means that other factors are now affecting your breathing. Do not just take these things for granted because you will certainly regret it in the end.


As the common saying goes, health is wealth. Well, it is more than any riches. Just think if you will be able to enjoy all the prosperity you can get in this world if you are suffering from illnesses like respiratory effects and just stuck in your bed. Living a healthy life depends on nobody but you. You are the main responsible for using these drugs appropriately.

Being well-equipped with all of these ideas from the illegal drugs, the signs, and symptoms associated with the abused of it, to the different management and medications applied on it, all play a vital role for a healthier you. You can avoid all of these respiratory effects that are connected to misuse of drugs if you will be a wise and smart consumer.