The effects of substance abuse on the human body can be permanent or temporary. Damage may worsen over a longer duration with increased frequency, up to and including overdose and death. Diminished regard to personal hygiene, financial troubles, domestic violence and depression may also come about as a result from continued use habits.
According to recent studies, more that 8% of Americans ages 12+ have dabbled with illegal substances within the past year. A 2007 survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 14.8% of students ages 13 – 18 had engaged in some type of recreational drug use within the previous 30 days. Though addiction is often defined as a mental health issue, the effects it can take on the body are rather extensive.
Substance Abuse Effects On Brain And Body
Substance abuse effects the body in a variety of ways, including changes in brain functionality, organ damage and skin infections.
Pregnant women with addiction issues impose enhanced risks to their unborn children, including behavioral disorders, developmental delays, low birth weight and premature birth.
The effects of substance abuse on mental health include personality disorders, lapses in memory, violence, depression and irrational behavior.
How Quickly Do Negative Effects Start After Using Drugs?
The negative effects of substance abuse can begin taking shape after only one use or many. Substances that are smoked or inhaled, such as marijuana, may cause increased appetite and high blood pressure. Cocaine and other narcotics have been known to cause heart attack following overdose.
Perhaps the most common effect of substance abuse is addiction. Over a long enough use period, addicts may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when the substance is not readily available. These symptoms can last anywhere from several days to a year or more depending on use history, amount and frequency.
Prevention And Treatment For Substance Abuse
Abstinence is key to the prevention of substance abuse effects. Recognizing when casual use upgrades to abuse is another crucial factor. Treatment centers for alcohol and narcotic addiction often prove useful in minimizing and managing the effects of the abuse by way of replacing the addictive substance with prescription alternatives. Support groups and counseling also play a vital role in the recovery process by helping patients deal with their addictions in a positive and healthy manner.