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7 Drastic Ways Drug Use Can Harm Your Health
Drugs, whether they are over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal, have considerable effects on the way that your body works. If a drug is administered under the supervision of a doctor, it can have some seriously good effects on the body and brain; if not, it can spell disaster.
I’ve been there, in the cycle of drug abuse, and I know firsthand how illicit drugs can create a dangerous and self-destructive cycle. There are seven ways that drugs harm your body, or rather, seven areas of the body that are affected in severe ways. The first area, and the spot that fuels drug addiction, is the brain. Almost all illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and others) activate the pleasure centers of the brain and flood them with serotonin and dopamine. Of course, they do more than that. But the key is that they make your brain feel pleasure at levels that you aren’t used to. And when the high from the drug wears off, the lows can be just as deep, leaving you desperate for more of the drug. The fundamental pleasure systems of the brain are thrown out of whack, and this is the addictive quality of drugs. Over the long term, there are plenty of physical problems that drug use can cause. Irregular heartbeat, strokes, and heart attacks are common with drugs like cocaine that overstimulate the brain. These issues can arise the first time someone takes the drug or anytime afterward.
Inhaled drugs can lead to respiratory problems ranging from susceptibility to bronchitis and respiratory infections to emphysema and lung cancer. These problems increase with chronic use of inhaled drugs (which include things like cigarettes and marijuana). The body has a need to filter out all of the impurities and chemicals that are brought into it. This is the job of the liver and kidneys. Illicit drugs cause these systems to have to work far harder than they are used to and put extra strain on the excretory and immune systems. Damage done in these areas can happen from a single use of a high-potency drug like cocaine or continued use of a drug like alcohol. Some drugs will cause changes in the digestive system by slowing or speeding up the production of enzymes that affect digestion. This can lead to things like constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and possibly vomiting. In the brain, there can also be changes in the chemical patterns that affect sleep, body temperature, and appetite. GHB has been linked to several deaths in which the user’s core body temperature was uncontrolled and raised to temperatures of 107 degrees or more.
Perhaps the most dangerous drugs are the ones that users assume are safe, like Ecstasy and its cousin MDMA (or “Molly”). But these drugs can cause seizures, stroke, brain damage, dehydration, and plenty of other dangerous side effects in the brain. The truth about drug use is that it is extremely dangerous and it’s only luck if you get out of abuse alive, unless you are proactive and do something to make the change to a drug-free lifestyle. That’s why I’m here. I’ve been where you are, and I climbed out of the hole of addiction. Let me throw you a rope