Negative Effects of Drug Use
Everyone knows that drugs are bad for your health. It is common knowledge that some drugs are extremely dangerous but there is potential health risk with drug use of any kind.
It seems like every other commercial is a drug advertisement, comically listing the possible health implications of taking what they are selling. Though the design of these legally required statements is to inform the consumer, it seems they have also made people jaded and indifferent to their potentially deadly side effects.
Regardless of whether or not the drug is legal it has potentially serious consequences.
The prevalence of people recreationally using prescription drugs has skyrocketed. This may come as a result of the misconception that because the drug is legal it’s not dangerous. This is simply untrue.
The three most commonly abused classes of drug are amphetamines, CNS depressants, and opioids. All of these pose serious health risks including addiction and death.
ADHD stimulants are legal speed. Short term, they are known to cause heart failure and seizure and have been responsible for the death of otherwise healthy, normal adolescents. Long-term they cause anxiety, psychosis, heart-problems, among other health problems.
CNS Depressants, such as anti-anxiety and sleep medicine, are known to cause drowsiness, confusion, impaired judgment, slowed heart rate and breathe. Slowed responses and impaired cognitive functioning put any person is at greater risk for injury or overdose. Any sedative, when mixed with alcohol, can lead to death.
Opioids, or pain killers, are the most famously abused legal substance. They cause slowed breathing, constipation, sedation, confusion, euphoria and are likely to lead to tolerance and dependence. According to the CDC, pain killers were responsible for over 71% of overdose deaths in 2013 and are well-known for leading to illegal drug use, such as heroin.
Illegal drug use, by its very nature, is extremely dangerous. The side effects of illegal drug use will depend on the ingredients being used. Street drugs are not quality controlled, so there is no way to predict what you are actually going to get.
It is dangerous misconception that one time use of a drug will not cause health problems. Plenty of people thought they could “just once” risk using an illegal drug and, as a consequence, had to relearn how to walk, talk, and read. Any number of lethal toxins could be used to dilute drugs – it only takes one tainted batch to kill dozens if not more.
Intravenously used drugs poses the most critical risk to a person’s health. The IV method is far more potent and therefore presents a very real possibility of overdose and death – as well as potential for contracting a life-threatening or debilitating illness.
One of the more frightening examples is the drug Krokodil, which is codeine cut with gasoline or some similar toxin. It causes the drug user to be eaten alive from the inside out and can be identified by its characteristic jaw-dropping sores. The first people to use this drug in America did not know what they were using. They thought they were buying heroin.
All drugs pose a very real threat to physical and mental health. The potential consequences vary slightly but all drug use can lead to addiction or death.
Dependence and tolerance are both early warning signs of a substance abuse disorder. If you have a problem with drugs, reach out. There is hope.