How Does Taking Drugs Affect Your Body: Medical Experts Answer?

Drugs can have a negative effect on your body. It’s important to do your part to steer clear of the types of drugs that are considered illegal. Yes, marijuana is legalized in most states in the country.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s OK to indulge in them. This guide will go over the kind of physiological effects that drugs can have on your body. If you need more information, Epiphany Wellness will be happy to provide it for you.

Let’s get started right now and talk more about drugs and how they can harm your body.

The immediate effects on the brain

One part of your body that drugs can affect is your brain. To start, it can harm the way your brain functions. For example, it can alter the levels of your neurotransmitters.

These neurotransmitters are chemicals that are responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells. When drugs are introduced, this can lead to changes in mood, behavior, and perception. Depending on the drug, it can affect the brain in different and unique ways.

For example, if you are using cocaine or marijuana, it can increase the level of dopamine in your brain. You’ll be feeling more euphoric compared to other activities. It can get to the point where your brain will practically be flooded with dopamine.

Other drugs such as benzodiazepines and opioids will decrease the number of neurotransmitters in your brain. As a result, this can lead to feelings of relaxation and sedation. Aside from brain functions, psychological effects are also something to note as well.

Drugs can lead to addiction among other psychological issues. This can include increased levels of depression and anxiety. While drugs themselves won’t develop mental disorders, they can exacerbate the symptoms.

On top of that, long-term side effects and withdrawal symptoms of certain drugs include depression, anxiety, and psychosis. These are often mistaken for the development of mental illnesses. However, this is not the case.

Another thing to be aware of is that persons with mental disorders may develop an addiction. This can be due to the fact that they use drugs in order to self-medicate. This can lead to what is known as a dual diagnosis.

For a good number of people dealing with addiction, the mental disorder may not have been previously diagnosed. For that reason, they would be assessed for both at the same time. When this happens, they will be placed on a treatment plan that will treat both their addiction and mental disorders.

Each treatment plan is different and depends on the person. However, it can’t be one or the other. This means your mental disorder can’t be ignored while you’re fighting addiction.

If you need more information about dual diagnosis, Epiphany Wellness will be able to help. They’ll explain the process of how this happens and the kind of treatment someone will undergo when one happens.  

The cardiovascular and respiratory systems: How drugs can affect it

Your cardiovascular system can be impacted by the drugs you use. For example, cocaine and methamphetamines are highly potent stimulants that can affect this part of your body. This can include an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

This can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you’re abusing opioids, this can decrease blood pressure and your breathing. It can get to dangerous levels where your oxygen supply to the body is threatened and can lead to fatal consequences.

Your respiratory system can also be affected if you are smoking certain drugs. Marijuana and tobacco can lead to lung damage and even certain diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer. Inhalants such as solvents, nitrites, or gasses can lead to damage not only to the lungs, but also the brain.

The digestive system and drugs

Most of the drugs that we’ve mentioned have withdrawal symptoms and side effects that can affect the digestive system. For example, nausea and diarrhea can be common for most drug users. This in turn can lead to a loss of appetite (which can lead to weight loss).

Long-term abuse of opioids can lead to constipation. Meanwhile, cocaine and other stimulants can suppress your appetite. On top of that, most drugs and even alcohol can affect the liver.

Common liver issues due to alcohol and drug use include Hepatitis and cirrhosis. Liver failure and liver cancer can also occur due to the long term use of drugs. Your liver is one of your most vital organs since it’s used to filter the toxins from your body.

However, if it is unable to do its job, it can harm your body to the point where the toxins can cause illness. It can lead to serious, if not, fatal illnesses.

Drugs and your reproductive system

Your reproductive system can be harmed because of drug use. For example, marijuana and cocaine are known to decrease testosterone levels in males. It can also lead to a decrease in sperm count.

Meanwhile, women may experience menstrual cycles that are irregular. This is common when using drugs like opioids. Likewise, they can also deal with decreased levels of fertility.

If a woman is using drugs while pregnant or nursing, this can lead to developmental issues for the child. They will be at risk for many health problems. The most common include developmental delays, low birth weight, even birth defects.

Final Thoughts

Drugs can affect your body in so many different ways. They can leave damage that might be irreversible, even if you fully recover from addiction. If you haven’t used them before, it may be a good idea to continue foregoing them.

If you have been dealing with drug abuse, get the help you need as soon as possible. Regardless, drugs can be harmful to your body both mentally and physically. Don’t take any chances on your life.

Get the help you need and you’ll be on a treatment plan to beat your addiction. Or if you have always abstained, stick to your boundaries and always say ‘no’.

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