Some of the Long-Term Effects of Drug Misuse

Everyone is aware that drug addiction can lead to death. But, in many cases, death doesn’t come knocking on an addict’s door for many years. In these scenarios, people aren’t necessarily free from the dangers of drug misuse. This is because long-term drug misuse presents a number of negative effects besides just death. However, different drug addictions may bring about different long-term effects. In this article, we discuss the long-term effects of drug misuse and how they may differ from person to person.

The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Misuse

Alcohol is legal, so it’s usually thought of as not such a big deal. However, thousands of people die from alcohol misuse and addiction every year. And, it’s third on the list of leading, preventable deaths in America. But, besides death, the long-term effects of alcohol can affect those addicted to alcohol. For example, it impacts the way the brain functions. And, with long-term use, can lead to issues like poor cognitive function. Plus, the development of hippocampal atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s. Secondly, along with brain function, the heart can become compromised as a result of long-term alcohol misuse. Alcoholics are at a higher risk for heart-related issues like arrhythmias and cardiomyopathy. Plus, can experience heart attacks and heart failure.

The Long-Term Effects of Stimulant Misuse

Stimulants are substances that include cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy, and MDMA. These substances are known to affect the central nervous system. So, they work to provide short-term effects that allow the user to become more alert. However, tampering with the central nervous system isn’t necessarily a healthy thing to do. And, long term users of stimulants can experience a number of long-term effects as a result. For example, the long-term use of amphetamines is known to reduce users’ dopamine levels. Thus, it is hard for them to experience the brain’s reward system that encourages us to do the things we need to stay alive like eating, sleeping, and reproducing. Furthermore, the long-term use of cocaine can lead to the development of stress-related disorders. As a result, long-term misusers of cocaine can have trouble staying clean as a result of feeling they need cocaine to deal with stress and anxiety.

The Long-Term Effects of MDMA

MDMA is the active ingredient in pure MDMA, ecstasy, and other street names for this substance, like “molly”. And, just like stimulants, they affect the central nervous system. Thus, altering brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that are required for healthy brain function. With long-term use, these effects on the central nervous system can lead to a number of symptoms:

  • Sleep issues
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Poor pain management
  • Low sex drive

Unfortunately, the long-term effects of MDMA can last because they’re due to the destruction of neurons in the brain. And, often, these neurons don’t replace themselves for up to seven years. So, these effects can last this long.

Preventing the Long-Term Effects of Drug Misuse

One of the ways to protect yourself from the long-term effects of drug misuse, including death, is to get treatment. Getting help for addiction can give you the tools needed to tackle sobriety. And, prevent long-term effects that can debilitate your life and health. If you’re looking for a place to support you on your road to recovery, Lotus Healing is here to help. To learn more about our programs and our counselors, like Adam Freilich, contact us today.

 

Dr. Dixie Brown is a PhD level Therapist, Integrative Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist with 15 years of experience working in Mental Health, specifically with trauma, eating disorders, and substance use.

Dixie Brown

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Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.