6 Serious Long-Term Effects of Using Drugs

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Drug use and addiction can be dangerous, and increase your risk for serious health problems such as overdose, coma, and death. The long-term effects of using drugs can impact you both physically and psychologically, and compromise your happiness and overall quality of life. Knowing more about the long-term effects of drug use can encourage you or your loved one to stop using substances, and get help for addiction treatment if needed.

If you’re struggling with drug abuse, understand you’re not alone in your fight and that help is nearby. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?) to speak with a drug abuse counselor who can discuss your rehab and addiction treatment options.

Here are six serious long-term health effects associated with drug abuse.

1. Anxiety

Drug use can lead to anxiety and anxiety disorders, especially when you’re constantly thinking about how to obtain more drugs, or worrying about your supply running low. Feeling anxious on a regular basis can interfere with your well-being, cause distractions at work or school, and interfere with other responsibilities.

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2. Depression

Effects of Using Drugs

Many drug users experience depression.

Over time you may end up developing a tolerance to the drugs you’re using. This means you may require larger doses and amounts of substances to experience the same euphoric high. When you’re unable to achieve the same level of euphoria with drug use, you may go on to experience depression.

You may also experience depression as a result of feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or guilty about your struggles with addiction and drug use. Many times, addicts treat depression using alcohol and/or drugs, and are unable to break this cycle unless they get help.

3. Lung and Respiratory Problems

Smoking any substance increases the risk for respiratory illnesses and lung cancer, especially when smoking highly toxic drugs such as crystal meth and crack cocaine. These drugs often contain harmful chemicals that can accelerate the progression of certain lung conditions, and increase the risk for lung failure.

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47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

4. Liver Disease

Alcohol abuse can damage and destroy healthy liver cells, and increase the risk for liver disease. Since your liver is responsible for processing alcohol for removal from your body, you face a higher risk for liver damage if you consume more alcohol than your liver can process. Long-term drug use can also trigger liver problems.

Long Term Effects of Narcotics Abuse

5. Kidney Damage

Long-term use of certain drugs can cause dangerous, dramatic increases in body temperature and muscle breakdown — increasing the risk for kidney damage. These drugs include heroin, PCP, and inhalants such as aerosols with chemicals.

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6. Heart Damage

Injecting drugs increases your risk for collapsed veins and bacterial infections in your heart valves and blood vessels. Additionally, stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines put you at especially high risk for heart disease and heart failure. Opioid use increases the risk for heart attack in those with a history of heart problems.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, understand that help is just one phone call away. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?) to learn more about addiction treatment centers that can help you overcome addiction, as well as the long-term effects of using drugs.

the Take-Away

Some of the long-term effects of drug abuse can be fatal.