8 Health Risks Associated with Addiction and How to Mitigate Them


Any form of addiction, whether to alcohol or substances, can have a detrimental effect on anyone’s quality of life. The impact starts at a low pace and worsens later as the dependency continues. Without timely intervention, it can lead to an endless issue in both mental and physical health, which requires more resources to deal with. This article focuses on eight main health risks connected to addiction and how to deal with them.

1) Liver Damage

The liver plays a huge role in detoxifying the body, but the continuous intake of alcohol and drug abuse can bring more strain to its normal functioning. This makes you prone to health concerns such as hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. The effect tends to increase gradually over the years to a point where it can cause liver failure, whose only remedy is liver transplant. To ensure you don’t reach the stage where the damage is irreversible, you need to retract your steps and quit alcohol or drug use immediately. Enroll in a drug rehab facility for professional guidance. These centers have qualified teams who will walk with you on your journey to sobriety.

Depending on your needs, these professionals will choose the right program for you, such as partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs. They’ll take much time to evaluate your level of addiction so that the approach they take will be practical. With a reliable outpatient drug rehab, you can also be sure of proper management of withdrawal symptoms, which are common when you quit the vice. Consult with the team on the number of weeks you’ll be under the program and the costs. After the treatment, you’ll also be guided on identifying and preventing the triggers.

2) Respiratory Issues

The well-being of the lungs and respiratory system depends highly on air freshness. This means if you take in tar and other chemicals present in the drugs, such as tobacco, it raises the likelihood of developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung damage, and even cancer. Also, when you consume opioids, whether through injection or inhalation, it can bring about respiratory depression and increase the possibility of developing respiratory infections.

To safeguard your respiratory health, consider seeking smoking cessation programs and minding your environment. Keep off surroundings with poor air quality and avoid passive smoking. In your efforts, also prioritize hygiene by ensuring you wash your hands regularly and keep your surfaces disinfected to prevent the spread of disease-causing germs.

3) Infectious Diseases

Drug addicts who often use injection drugs are at a higher risk of catching infections like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C viral and bacterial infections. This is through the everyday habits of the users to share needles and other drug paraphernalia. Such risky behaviors are often accelerated by intoxication. Poor decision-making and judgment also increase the possibility of engaging in acts like unprotected coitus, making them more susceptible to infections.

In your efforts to prevent these infectious diseases, as an individual, you need to seek guidance on the best harm-reduction strategies. This can include knowing how to access clean supplies like syringes and needles. Going for regular checkups with your reproductive health specialist may also be prudent.

4) Mental Health Disorders

It’s unfortunate that an addiction can coexist with a mental health disorder, and it becomes difficult to separate the two. The truth is that the interplay has an impact on both, and they’ll worsen quickly over time. Through regular drug and alcohol dependency, you’ll find symptoms of depression, anxiety, and different psychiatric disorders intensifying.

On the other hand, when mental health issues are allowed to prevail, they may trigger an individual to seek solace in drugs. It means that as you plan on quitting, you still need to find a solution to any underlying psychological issues. 

5) Nutritional Deficiencies

Drug and alcohol addiction can bring about nutritional deficiencies in several ways, one being the disruption it brings to the eating patterns due to the declined appetite. Secondly, as the addiction progresses, the priorities change. A person with a substance use disorder will prefer to go empty than to fail to consume their recreational substances. This leads to malnutrition, including poor uptake of nutrients by the body. The right thing to do is to focus on healthy feeding. 

6) Increased Risk of Accidents and Injuries

The impaired coordination, hallucinations, and impaired judgments will increase the possibility of accidents, whether at home or in social settings. Motor skills and cognitive functions are crucial in movements and body coordination in general. This means whenever you’re intoxicated, your risks of bodily harm are high.

This makes it necessary to prioritize sobriety and get over the addiction altogether. Even as you consider this, you have things you can do to reduce the likelihood of risking your health and those of others. For instance, have someone drive you home after a night out with drinks and keep productive people around who will guide you on accountability.

7) Gastrointestinal Issues

The microbiome in the digestive tract requires specific conditions to thrive. Frequent alcohol consumption, for instance, throws off balance the well-being of these essential bacteria. Alcohol promotes bacterial overgrowth and dysbiosis, which translates to increased endotoxins.

Alcohol consumption also irritates the inner lining of the stomach and intestines, increasing the risk of ulcers. Drugs like cocaine and opioids are also known to bring about nausea and constipation. The right approach is to moderate the consumption per sitting and reduce the intervals. 

8) Cardiovascular Diseases

8 Health Risks Associated with Addiction and How to Mitigate Them

The use of certain drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, leads to the heart pumping faster, high blood pressure, and arrhythmia. With these effects, there is a higher chance of suffering from strokes, heart attacks, and other complications. Most addicts also have poor feeding habits and failure to exercise, which leads to even more heart health risks.

As you seek professional help, you need to revamp your lifestyle to start reversing poor cardiovascular health. Take more fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and less processed foods. This keeps the heart healthy while enhancing the blood circulation throughout the body.

Dealing with an addiction can give rise to several health issues, starting from digestion problems to organ failures, which is why working towards sobriety is important. You must also be a responsible consumer who avoids going overboard and leads a healthy lifestyle.

Written by Mia

Hey Everyone! This is Mia Shannon from Taxes. I'm 28 years old a professional blogger and writer. I've been blogging and writing for 10 years. Here I talk about various topics such as Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, and Home Hacks, etc. Read my latest stories.

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