Drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and some prescription drugs can cause a temporary ‘high’ or intense, pleasurable sensation, which is what causes a lot of people to be addicted to them. This sensation, however, is short-lived while the ill effects that stem from drug abuse and addiction last a long time, and can be very serious. Indeed, drug addiction problems continue to pile up and worsen as you use drugs, ruining your life without you even knowing.
Drugs can have a huge effect on the nervous system, especially the brain. In order to compensate for the abnormal surges of dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for the pleasurable sensation, the brain decreases the production, which leads to the person no longer deriving as much pleasure from his activities, including from using drugs, which leads to intake of greater amounts. The production of glutamate also slows down, and as a result, lapses in memory and impaired learning occur.
Apart from the effects on the brain, drug addiction can cause heart and lung problems, stroke and damages to the liver and kidneys. The abuse of prescription drugs, especially the antidepressants like benzodiazepine and stimulants like amphetamine, slow down the brain, while also causing paranoia, irregular heartbeat and seizures. Ultimately, drug addiction can lead to death. In fact, drugs are one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Drugs can also be a cause of death of unborn babies. Even if the baby survives, there is still a high risk that the baby will have developmental problems as well as behavioral issues.
The behavioral problems caused by drug addiction are even more apparent than the health problems. If the person is working or attending school, the drugs will affect his performance, ultimately leading to him skipping out of work or school. The person may also have frequent mood swings and a short temper, while at other times, appearing anxious or depressed. He may also become secretive to the point of being suspicious, and suddenly turn his back on the things he used to like doing or the people he used to like hanging out with.
Worst, studies show that drug users often end up in trouble with the law, mainly because they start getting into fights and also because they develop a compulsion to steal in order to continue spending for drugs.
The Effect on the Family
The effects of drugs on a person’s family may be even worse than the effects on the person himself. Indeed, drug usage of a parent often leads to divorce, or his separation from his children, while the drug usage of a child also tears the family apart. The sad part is that instead of the family members seeking help for their loved one, they try to hide the problem and deal with it on their own and when they finally realize that they really need to seek professional help, everything is already too late and too much damage has already been done.
Truly, drug addiction problems are serious and can be menacing, eating away at a person’s health, behavior and family life, essentially ruining the things that matter most to a person. These can still be solved, though, with professional addiction help, with a will of steel and with the support of family and friends.