The list of dangers associated with substance abuse is long, and most people are aware of the common dangers, such as forming an addiction, having withdrawal symptoms and overdose. According to the CDC, 52,404 people died in 2015 from drug overdoses. However, there are health risks of substance abuse that are not commonly mentioned that can have severe effects on a person and others around them. These risks are not just tied into the use of one specific drug but rather encompass many different substances that people abuse.
We will review some of the effects of drug addiction on health that are not commonly talked about in this article.
Behavioral Changes and Violence
One of the health risks of substance abuse is an increase in violence. Drugs and alcohol can alter the way a person behaves. An individual who is known to be calm and non-confrontational can be a different person while influenced by drugs or alcohol. Even someone who is not an addict, merely abusing a substance from time to time, can be at risk of violence brought on by the substance. For example, drinking too much alcohol can cause a person to behave in a way that can get them into trouble at public venues. Violent behavior is more likely in substance abusers than in people who do not take drugs or alcohol.
Furthermore, there is an increased risk of severe situations that can lead to homicide. This can be due to a specific drug like flakka bringing about unusual behavior or from the situations that a drug-seeking individual puts themselves in.
Accidental and Intentional Injury
Many of us are aware of the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol, but the dangers of driving under the influence is not just limited to alcohol. Since the drugs that people commonly abuse are taken because of the drastic effects that they have on the person at the time, operating a vehicle after taking any drug can be dangerous. From marijuana to cocaine, the risk of a motor vehicle accident when your awareness and judgment is impaired is increased.
The health risks of substance abuse can also include the dangers of self-harm and suicide. Some substances such as flakka can cause such severe changes in a person’s perception of their reality to the point that self-injury is a real risk. Some people may also be driven to suicide after taking a mind-altering substance, especially if they are suffering from depression.
Diseases Spread by Substance Abuse
The physical effects of drug abuse do not stop at what the drug itself can do to your body over the short and long term. One of the major physical effects of drug abuse in substances such as meth and heroin is the risk of contracting a disease. Highly addictive drugs such as meth, heroin and opioid pain relievers can cause people to do things they would never normally do in order to get more drugs, such as trade sex with strangers for their fix. Unprotected sex is common when a person’s judgment is impaired by drugs or alcohol, opening a person up to STDs such as HIV/AIDS.
Other diseases such as hepatitis may be transmitted through the sharing of needles. Due to the addict’s lack of good judgment, they are not thinking about what could happen tomorrow – their only focus is on getting the drug into their system.
The health risks of substance abuse can cause a situation to quickly become out of control. The many effects of drug addiction on health can be halted by finding treatment at a rehab facility. Get in touch with the White Sands Treatment Centers by calling (877) 855-6470 today to get help for 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.