The Ugly Side of Addiction

There are so many ugly sides to addiction that it is almost impossible to decide which is worst.  From brutal drug related crimes to physical distortions mental disorder, broken homes, homelessness, to abused or abandoned children and lives with unlimited potential cut short provide a glimpse into the ugly side of addiction. Most people will agree however, that the power of drugs to trap and destroy lives despite the consequences is most likely the ugliest side of addiction.

Despite concerted effort and the declaration of war on drugs, addiction is more prevalent in society today than ever before.  There has also been cutting edge breakthroughs in addiction research and development of various innovative recovery models plus increased funding, policy changes and shifts in societies beliefs and treatment of people in addiction. Still, drug trafficking and global drug abuse has steadily increased. The issues countering these positives include continued widespread dispensation of addictive prescription drugs coupled with tumbling prices of purer more potent street drugs. Together these make it easier for people of every demographic, from the city to the suburb to fall into the trap of addiction.

The Ugly Side of Addiction

While every substance addiction has its ugly side, meth has been singled out because of what it does to the physical appearance of the meth addict.  Meth has also been called the “ugly drug” causing severe emaciation, skin abrasions and horrible teeth and gum deterioration.  However, meth is not the only contributor to physical and mental problems.  The following are a few ways other drugs of abuse take a  toll on those addicted to them:

  • -Alcohol abuse and addiction is linked to over 75,000 deaths annually.  Based on data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, these deaths include 40,933 car crashes caused by excessive use of alcohol, 34,833 also die annually from conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and other diseases. In addition, alcoholism causes dehydration, dark circles under the eyes, a skinny gaunt appearance, early wrinkles, yellowing of the skin, teeth and eyes.  
  • -Cocaine addiction.  One of the side effects of habituated cocaine abuse is referred to as the “cocaine nose job”.  Repeated snorting and prolonged use of cocaine causes a loss of blood supply to the thin wall that divides the nostrils also known as the septum. Erosion of the septum creates a cavernous hole between the two nostrils. Overtime the nose becomes weakened without the support of the septum and collapses. Other disturbing effects of cocaine includes a palatal perforation or hole in the roof of your mouth, and an enlarged heart of up to three times the size of a normal heart.
  • -Heroin Addiction.  The effects of heroin can be equally disturbing.  Chronic heroin users usually look gaunt and drawn with an ashen or anemic appearance made even more noticeable by dark circles under vacant eyes. Heroin can also cause itching and scratches leading to unsightly sores, acne, and scars from picking at their skin. Scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse also explain that repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and deterioration of the brain’s white matter.  This physiology of the brain can create long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed. The continuous increases in heroin overdose deaths however is considered the most painful aspect of heroin addiction.    



If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.