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Debilitated by Drugs: The Physical Effects of Drug Abuse

Substance abuse, whether it is long or short term, is the basis for a wide array of health conditions. Individuals entering a drug rehab program are not only choosing to live a drug-free life, but are also choosing to live a life free from illness that could potentially rob them of future experiences and enjoyment. If you are using drugs, you may be ignoring the damage they are doing to your body. While facing the facts can be scary, it can also be liberating. When you know what you are really doing, you can make the decision to change your life. You then can reclaim your life from the drugs that are controlling it.

How Drugs Affect Your Body

When you use drugs, you are putting yourself at risk for drug-related illnesses. A host of factors can increase the likelihood of drug-related illnesses including: drug type, the frequency and amounts ingested, the length of abuse, personal medical history, and even physical characteristics such as height and weight. Short-term health risks of drug abuse are ever present. It only takes one bad experience and you could find yourself in an ambulance suffering from breathing problems, severe chest pains, brain damage, or even worse, death. Some long-term effects aren’t as immediate or even discernible until it’s too late. Irreversible damage is a great risk, as well as being faced with damage that is permanently debilitating. Here is a list of a number of common drugs and the health risks that are common among long-term abusers: Alcohol: Not only does alcohol result in blackouts and memory loss, its abuse has been directly tied to brain shrinkage, loss of brain matter, liver cirrhosis, dementia, and the inability to learn and remember. Cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and other stimulants: These can cause heart attacks, intestinal gangrene, strokes, kidney and lung damage, and severe coronary disease. Heroin, inhalants, depressants and designer drugs: This group has been linked with comas; heart, lung and central nervous system failure; involuntary bowel movements; and impaired speech and paralysis.

Getting Help for Drug Addiction

While overcoming addiction is not easy, it can be done. A large part of substance abuse treatment is to take time facing the cold hard statistics connected with drug abuse. Alcohol and drug rehab is not only a good choice for your present health and well-being, but it’s also pivotal to preserving your future health and quality of life. The most successful treatment plans are customized to the specific needs of the client. While you enter rehab to address your addiction, you are not just your addiction. You are a whole person with a history and future. You have certain interests, fears, goals, and challenges. You need a treatment plan that addresses these and allows you to heal on every level, not just physically. You should leave rehab renewed mentally, psychologically, and emotionally as well. It is never too early to get help. In fact, the sooner you start treatment, the easier it will be to overcome your addiction. Don’t wait for a close call to finally make the decision to get help.   (photo via)

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