Devastating Physical Health Effects of Addiction

Devastating Physical Health Effects of Addiction

Living with addiction is devastating for many reasons. But it can affect more than cravings or your relationships. Addiction can have some pretty serious physical health effects that both last long-term or are short-term. In this blog, we will discuss the long and short-term effects of addiction on your health and how this happens. 

To learn more about our resident program to help you or a loved one recover from alcohol abuse, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery. 

Understanding Addiction and Its Immediate Physical Impact

Addiction is when someone compulsively uses substances even though they are negatively affecting their life. This can spiral into serious behaviors and other consequences that can be impossible to rid your life of once you are seriously addicted. In the end, this can have an immediate impact on your health from the moment you start using. Some of these might be weight loss or gain, sleep disturbances, seizures, nausea, GI issues, etc. 

Immediate Physical Effects of Substance Abuse

As soon as the addict uses, their body is no longer at its optimal state. Using drugs like alcohol, for example, will lead to impaired coordination and judgment, and something like heroin will lead to drowsiness and slowed breathing. Stimulants, on the other hand, will make your heart race and heighten your blood pressure, as well as the nervous system, which could be dangerous immediately. 

These reactions the body has really lays out the groundwork for long-term health conditions by putting different bodily systems under stress. 

What are the first signs of physical health issues due to addiction?

If you are looking for early signs of addiction, you may watch out for weight loss or gain, sleep changes, skin problems like pitting or excess sweating, and dental issues. 

Long-Term Physical Health Effects

When you use substances for a long time, it can lead to long-term health conditions that can make quality of life even worse for the addict. Heart disease may happen due to stimulant abuse as it strains the heart over time by making it race or upping your blood pressure. 

The liver is another part of the body that can see issues after substances are used for a long time. This is because the liver detoxifies and therefore is trying to rid the body of the substances you are putting in it. Lungs are another bodily part that can have permanent damage, from smoking in various forms. This could lead to emphysema or even lung cancer. 

These are just a couple of the ways that drugs can cause long-term health issues. Below is a bullet point list of some common chronic conditions drug addicts suffer with: 

  1. Mental health disorders
  2. Infectious diseases like HIV
  3. Liver disease
  4. Lung disease
  5. Heart disease
  6. Cancer
  7. Nutritional deficiencies
  8. Skin and dental problems
  9. Chronic pain due to infection or injury
  10. Sleep disorders

Can the physical effects of addiction be reversed?

Unfortunately, trying to reverse the damage caused by substance abuse isn’t always possible. But many can be improved with proper treatment. 

How does addiction affect physical appearance?

You might notice skin changes in those who use substances, excess sweating, lesions, poor hygiene, hair loss, and significant weight loss or gain.

The Impact on Mental Health and Its Physical Manifestations

The body isn’t the only system affected by the long-term use of substances. Mental health can be exacerbated by substances when used excessively. Although some addicts may use to make their mental illness more bearable, it will likely make things worse in the long run for most people. 

When mental health is affected, it can set off other physical conditions in the body. Stress and anxiety can cause chronic headaches, aches and pains, and fatigue. Mental health can make us stop eating or stop us from taking care of our bodies. That, too, can lead to other chronic illnesses, such as vitamin deficiency or wear and tear. 

Myrtle Beach Rehab Understands the Physical Impacts of Addiction

Escaping the pains in the body is one reason an addict might use. Helping the physical side of addiction can free us from some temptations of using. Taking care of yourself and your body is imperative for rehabilitation. Resources for addressing health and addiction do exist. Sometimes, when the cycle of addiction is too much to bear, a short-term rehab or long-term addiction facility may be the answer. This is where Myrtle Beach Recovery comes in. Contact us today to find out more.