Substance abuse is hard on the wallet, the brain, the spirit, and the body. A temple, a vessel, the body was not meant to withstand the poison of substance abuse. While the high is temporary, the effects can be lasting.
Here are a few of the negative effects on drugs and alcohol on the body:
Kidney failure: Prescription drugs, cocaine, heroin, ketamine, inhalants, MDMA, PCP, steroids, and synthetic cannabinoids are all known to cause kidney damage or failure as a result of dehydration, dangerous increases in body temperature, and muscle breakdown. Kidney failure can be fatal and typically requires regular dialysis or transplant. However, acute kidney failure may be reversible.
Elevated liver enzymes: As the first stage of long term liver damage, this is also the most common form of liver damage, indicating inflammation or damage to cells in the liver. Commonly caused by alcohol, the best thing you can do to lower high liver enzymes is to stop drinking alcohol. Over-the-counter non prescription drugs can impede liver function and impact liver enzymes.
Liver failure: Liver failure occurs when large parts of the liver become damaged beyond repair and the liver is no longer able to function. Once severe scarring of the liver tissue has taken place, it’s very difficult – if not impossible – to reverse the damage. Alcohol, DXM, heroin, inhalants, and steroids can all lead to liver damage.
Hepatitis C: While this is not directly caused by drugs, it is often a side effect. Hepatitis C is a viral liver infection frequently caused by sharing needles. In time, it can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. This is one of the top reasons people get liver transplants.
Respiratory problems: Cocaine, crack (when smoked), DXM, GHB, heroin, inhalants, ketamine, marijuana (when smoked), PCP, prescription opioids are all known to cause respiratory problems. While a heroin overdose can suddenly stop breathing all together, chronic conditions caused by inhaling drugs use include emphysema and lung cancer.
Most people don’t need to be convinced drugs are harmful, but a better understanding of how they affect the body is important. Substance abuse is not a life sentence. Many of these can be reversed or improved with proper care, treating the underlying addiction is the best place to start.
IF YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE IS CURRENTLY SUFFERING FROM ADDICTION OR MENTAL ILLNESS – BALBOA HORIZONS CAN HELP INSPIRE CHANGE AND TRANSFORM THEIR LIFE TOWARD THE PATH OF RECOVERY.