Indeed, drug and alcohol addiction, defined as a chronic, relapsing illness occasioned by a compulsive craving for drugs or alcohol, has undeniable effects on your life. While many people still look at addiction as a lifestyle choice, it is a disease.
Many addicts do not see the adverse effects of the addiction. Yet, abusing these substances will, in the long run, change your body, your memory, your bank account, and the way you relate with others.
The truth is that drug or alcohol addiction is a recipe for altered brain chemistry, infections, financial struggles, and health complications. Addiction will also possibly cause you legal issues, accidental injuries, or even death. That is how grave the menace is.
While you may already be in the know of these side effects, understanding them in detail will probably give you an insight into why you may need medication.
3 Side Effects of Drug and Alcohol Addiction
The following side effects of addiction could easily ruin your life;
Altered Brain Chemistry
While the human brain weighs just about 3 pounds, it is arguably the most complex organ in your body. It helps to regulate and coordinate all the functions and processes in your body. Interestingly, it does this via an advanced communication system in the nervous system.
Consistent and high use of alcohol or drugs interferes with the working mechanism of the communication system. Thus, the neurons will not receive, process, and send information. Each drug affects the brain differently.
And while you may feel momentary pleasure, some of the effects are either irreversible or take too long to repair. Common side effects include impaired cognition, lack of self-control, impaired learning ability, and memory loss.
Causes Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
The correlation between substance abuse and mental illnesses is very complex. On the one hand, substance abuse can trigger stress, anxiety, and depression. However, it is also important to note that stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to addiction.
Addiction causes mental illnesses, particularly in situations where one’s craving for a substance is not met. This could be due to a lack of finances or the unavailability of your preferred substance. The American Psychiatric Association defines depression as an illness characterized by deep sadness and lack of interest in activities that were once hobbies to you.
Just like addiction, depression is a chronic illness that may take years to manage. Even more, the onset of depression will often drive a person to more substance abuse problems in an attempt to feel better. But once the effects of the substance come down, the person will always feel bluer and may want more alcohol or drugs again.
Another effect of too much substance abuse is loss of memory. The problem will always begin with a person forgetting part or all of the happenings during the last drinking episode. The issue will start with you forgetting things you said, did, or places you went.
While an occasional blackout should not be a big deal, frequent blackouts are an indication that you are consuming more alcohol or drugs than you should. And since addiction means that you will always want to have more of your preferred substances, there will be constant compromise on the memory cells of your brain. It is this continuous influence that could erode your memory.
Early Management Increases Chances of Recovery
The effects of drug and alcohol abuse are far-reaching. Many of them will turn out to be permanent problems. But with early intervention, most of these effects are restorable to full recovery. Impact Recovery Center uses a 12-step system to minimize or eradicate these side effects.