The Adverse Impacts of Drug Use
Do you indulge in substance abuse? Drug use has negative impacts on your life in very many ways. Anyone is capable of becoming an addict as long as he or she is exposed to a prescribed medication or illegal drugs that are habit-forming. Some people are predisposed to develop addictive behavior when introduced to various drugs. This read will shed light on all the aspects of life that are negatively affected by drug use.
Most of the drugs that are commonly abused are illegal, which means that when a person supplies, cultivates, manufactures, uses, or possesses an illegal drug. This gives rise to a drug offence that will result in a criminal record. Depending on the state you are in, you could be fined, imprisoned, or both. Additionally, this could affect your ability to secure a job, good credit score, or even get a visa to travel out of the country. This will affect your financial wellbeing, which will affect your mental, social, and emotional state due to issues such as depression and anxiety.
The state will order you to undergo a drug test to ascertain the drug you used in order to prove their case. These tests search for small amounts of the substance in the body. The types of tests that you could be subjected to include:
- Saliva test: This testing method is reliable, accurate and quick. It is mainly used to detect the presence of the following rugs in the body MDMA (‘ecstasy’), methyl amphetamine, and THC. It takes about five minutes to carry out this test. If the results come back positive, the person is required to take a confirmatory test. This is usually done on the blood. The second test takes about half an hour to complete.
- Blood test: This detects the recent use of a substance. Recent in this case means a few hours before the test is carried out. This test is expensive. The blood sample is drawn from a prick on the finger or arm vein. The sample is tested in a laboratory that is accredited.
- Urine test: This is the most common form of a drug test. It detects the long-term use of a drug. It is very accurate and easy to do. It entails urinating in a container and having the urine tested using a dipstick. This is common in the workplace.
- Hair test: This test provides drug use history. Most people do not know this but drug substance residues accumulate in the hair. It detects drug use for as far back as more than three months from the date when the test is taken. It is very expensive to carry out because of its accuracy. The history is determined from the length of your hair, which takes about forty to fifty strands of your hair.
Driving under the influence is very risky. You are likely to cause an accident and even lose your own life. Various rugs have varied effects on the body’s state when a person is driving. Below are some of these common effects.
- Stimulant: This gives the driver a false sense of confidence, which increases the likelihood of the driver to take risks. For example, the driver could driver at an abnormal speed while overtaking. Take note that stimulants do not increase the focus, ability, or coordination of the driver.
- Depressants: This drug slows the reaction rate of the driver, which makes the driver react after the lapse of some time. For example, the driver could delay slowing down the vehicle and hit someone or bump into someone else’s car. This means that the drug increases the possibility of a car crash.
- Hallucinogens: This drug affects the driver’s visual sense. This makes it difficult for the driver to judge perceptions such as distance, which increases the possibility of them crashing into something or hitting someone. Additionally, it reduces the driver’s ability to coordinate the required reaction when they drive.
Taking drugs heightens and changes our personalities. This is why most introverts and conservative people become more outspoken and active when they are under the influence. For occasional users, this is just fun and games. However, for avid users, they can sometimes turn to become more militant and mean. This makes them directly approach relationship issues in an agitating manner. This is a clear warning sign of addiction. This is because the person is allowing their drug use to get in the way of their relationships and friendships and they keep doing it even though they are aware that they keep hurting their loved ones. They stop being reachable and avoid making plans with their close friends and family. Most of the time, this happens because they know that their close friends and family would be able to tell that they are not okay. They are trying to cover up their new habit.
An addict wholly depends on their chosen drug. They rarely eat any food nor drink water. Their diet slowly changes to accommodate drug intake only. Thus, the immunity of such a person is bound to deteriorate with time and so does their health. The person easily contracts diseases and takes longer to heal from them. Their physical well-being also deteriorates with time. Most drug users tend to lose weight and develop skin issues because of the unhealthy nature of their diet. Take note that the state of their health depends on the drug they use. Below are some of the examples of health issues that a person is likely to encounter when they indulge in the use of certain drugs.
- Legal highs: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues detachment, amnesia, and extreme relaxation, decreased appetite, prolonged periods of wakefulness, blackouts, feelings of paranoia, aggressive behavior, panic attacks, hallucinations, and feelings of exhilaration. Moreover, they could experience slurred speech, seizures, blood pressure, death, or even coma
- Synthetic hallucinogens: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues Gastrointestinal issues, Facial stiffness, Blurred vision, Tremors, Headaches, Seizures and convulsions, Respiratory distress, and Cardiac issues (such as heart rate and increased blood pressure). Additionally, they could experience Hallucinations, Paranoia, panic, and anxiety, impaired decision-making, Motor impairment, Disorientations and confusion, and Death caused by the secondary and primary effects.
- Khat: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues irritability, anxiety, anorexia and insomnia, serious damage of the liver, worsening the pre-existing psychiatric conditions, myocardial infarction, irregular heartbeat, stomach inflammation, ulcers, periodontal disease, and tooth decay.
- Amphetamines: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues decreased appetite, jaw clamping, dilated pupils, increased blood pressure, and an increased heart rate and breathing rate, Flush or pale skin (Skin disorders), Vitamin deficiency, Mental illness, and Malnutrition. Additionally, the person could experience Repetitive motor activity, unusual tiredness or weakness, Mood or mental change, Physiological and behavioral disorders, and Toxic psychosis. Take note that the following effects also apply blood vessels in the brain might burst, collapse, strokes, heart failure, high fever, seizures, loss of coordination, tremors, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, sweating and even a fever.
- Anabolic steroids: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues Signs of agitations such as restlessness, Libido suppression, Insomnia, Irritability, Aggression, Impulsivity, Paranoia, and Nervousness. Apart from this, the person could also suffer from any of the following effects Cysts, Yellow eyes and skin, Acne, Liver disease, Greasy hair, Greasy skin, Shrunken testicles in men, Liver cancer, Breast growth in men, Erectile dysfunction in men. In addition to this the person could go through Decreased breast size in women, heart disease and heart attack, Internal bleeding, Irregular periods in women, Deep voice in women, Facial hair growth in women, Hair thinning, Premature ageing of bones, Male pattern baldness, Diseases that are associated with the transmission of needles such as Hepatitis B&C and HIV/AIDS.
- Antidepressants: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues mild agitation, mild lethargy, dry mouth and nausea, suicidal thinking, profound lethargy, agitation, stomach upset, tics, rashes, mood swings, and sexual side effects.
- Barbiturates: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues drowsiness, lack of inhibition, mild euphoria, irritability, impaired judgment, dilated pupils, and lack of coordination, disorientation, fatigue, sluggishness, slurred speech, breathing disorders (shallow breathing), sexual dysfunction, slowed reflexes, dizziness, vision problems, and chronic tiredness.
- Benzodiazepines: When a person uses this drug, he or she tends to experience the following health issues Aggressive behavior, Mood swings, Memory loss, Difficulty breathing, Lack of coordination, Slurred speech, Poor decision making, Poor judgment, Weakness, Blurred vision, Dizziness, Confusion, Drowsiness, Death caused by respiratory system issues, and Coma.
Parents are not aware that such an environment can influence and shape their future of their children forever. These vulnerable beings are affected in the highest degree and it may reflect in their interactions and behavior. The child may exhibit any or all of the following signs:
- A child who has been exposed to a drug use environment from birth may have no recollection of a normal life in terms of family relationships. This makes them unable to differentiate between bad and good role models making their lives doomed from the start.
- Children who are exposed to such environments at a tender age tend to judge themselves severely. They do not feel enough and are likely to suffer from low self-esteem self-worth, and even depression. They develop feelings of inadequacy as they feel like they do not deserve to have anything in life.
- A child who has been bred in a drug use environment tends to be its own worst critic. This often leads to anxiety and depression.
- For one to have a successful intimate relationship, they have to be able to find a partner who fulfills their needs, open to emotional attachment, and interdependent. Since they have harbored self-esteem and trust issues from their childhood, they may not be able to let their guard down.
- After being exposed to a childhood of secrets, lying, and denial, trust-issues are a sure result. All those broken promises and disappointments culminate into a pit of distrust that infects all their relationships.
- Since their parents failed to be available physically and emotionally during their development stage, they tend to be horrified of abandonment when they become adults. This makes them hold onto relationships that do not add value such as abusive ones.
- Since they judge themselves very harshly, they tend to seek approval from the society. This makes them not have an opinion about anything, making them go with the opinion of the majority. It makes them susceptible to peer pressure.
- These children become perfectionists. They strive to be better than their childhood forms and tend to become workaholics and perfectionists as adults.
- A child who has grown up seeing their parent or both their parents engaging in substance abuse tends to view this as normal. They end up indulging in it at their adolescents and this affects their health, development, and school life.
- Children are observant beings. Thus, if a child makes a mistake and their parent seeks the help of their bottle to help calm their nerves, the child will likely perceive that he or she is the cause of their parent(s) drinking.
- When a child is constantly exposed to the negative effects of drug use, they tend to develop anxiety because they are not aware of what their parent(s) will do under the influence.
The treatment method for drug abuse is very complicated. It touches on both the psychological and mental health of the individual. It aims to help the person in other aspects of their health such as religion, social relationships, emotional health, and physical health. The prolonged treatment strives to make the person disciplined enough to stay sober and not relapse when the opportunity presents itself. Thus, the treatment could last for as long as the person stays dependent on the drug. If the person develops mental issues such as schizophrenia, the treatment process becomes complicated even further.
As you visit a rehabilitation center to help you or your loved one with a drug addiction, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the system of the rehabilitation center. Most rehabilitation centers have varying treatment plans, but this read will provide a standard treatment plan that most rehabilitation centers follow. This will provide some insight. Take note that it is not conclusive and definite. You might miss some steps or have more.
- Physical examination or assessment: At the beginning of the rehab process, you will meet a physician. You will spend some time with him or her to examine your addiction status and map out a detoxification plan. This plan will vary depending on the drugs you were using during the addiction phase. Therefore, it is mandatory that you are very honest at this stage. Giving the wrong information will not help you get through your rehabilitation efficiently. You might also be asked to identify the recent drugs that you ingested. This could be prescribed or not. Thus, you might want to acquaint yourself with the names of those drugs. At this stage, you will be given various legal documents such as consent forms to fill. This stage takes a few hours, but it could spread out through a couple of days.
- Psychological examination/evaluation/assessment: A psychiatrist who has experience and expertise on addiction will examine various issues such as bipolar, depression, anxiety, or any other psychological or emotional issues. The first examination you do will not be conclusive. This is because you are still under the influence of drugs and at the peak of your addiction. This may taint the results significantly. A good example is some people exhibit schizophrenic properties when they are under the influence and after they are done with their rehabilitation, these symptoms end.
- Detoxification: This is the part of the program that addicts hate most. However, if you check in to a high-end rehabilitation centre it might be extremely comfortable for you. Withdrawal symptoms are inevitable. They will use medication like valium and suboxone to ease your pain. Since they do not want to create a dependency to this drug, they will only use it when necessary and for a short period. The aim of using them is to make sure that the addict is completely free from mood-altering drugs. The potential side effects include decreased appetite, amnesia, blackouts, and feelings of paranoia, aggressive behavior, panic attacks, tremors, blurred vision, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, seizures, convulsions, respiratory issues, high blood pressure, motor impairment, and even dilated pupils. A doctor will definitely be on standby to help you get through all these side effects. The side effects you experience are dependent on the drugs you used. Thus, make sure you enquire so that you do not go into shock ones the side effects start showing. Mental preparation goes a long way when it comes to this form of treatment.
- Therapy: The most effective form of therapy is done in a group setting. This does not single out individual therapy. It is still effective. Additionally, some people prefer to have individual counseling because of their status or other personal reservations. By talking and connecting with other people who feel the same way you do, you develop techniques that help you stay free from drug consumption.
- Fitness: Drugs make the body system deteriorate. It derails all health aspects making it hard to get through the addiction. Thus, through fitness, you can uplift your mind, soul and body. This is essential for their healing process. Exercise helps the addict get through the withdrawal symptoms since it helps the body produce endorphins that make the body feel good. You might need the help of a trainer to get through this stage. The rehabilitation centre could provide one unless you have reservations about a specific one and want to hire your own personal trainer.
- Good nutrition: Dieting goes hand-in-hand with fitness. In order to recover, you have to feel good and eat right. If you eat too much-processed carbohydrates, you will feel sleepy and sluggish. On the other hand, too much sugar will affect your moods. Thus, you will need to consult your nutritionist to plan your balanced diet and help you get in better shape.
- Alternative treatments: Many rehabilitation centers offer numerous alternative treatments. These treatments have been shown to help ease the withdrawal symptoms and make the addicts’ rehabilitation life more comfortable. These include acupuncture, equine therapy, yoga, massage, and meditation among others.
- Planning for aftercare: What is your plan after you leave the rehabilitation centre? How are you planning to stay on track with the treatment? How will you plan your home regimen to keep up with the treatment? What will you do if you get the urge to use drugs? All these questions are catered for under this part of the treatment. The plan caters for all the strategies that you need o address to remedy any situation you phase and the various relationships you are likely to phase when you get back home.
- Discharge from treatment: Your treatment is complete and you are at about thirty days free from drug use. This day could be terrifying, joyous, or exciting. Follow the aftercare plan and all the tips and advice that you have received from the specialists. If you stay away from the triggers, you will have a better chance of long-term recovery.
The society shuns people who use drugs and stigmatizes them even after they have gone through the rehabilitation process. Acceptance back to the society takes some time and people often end up having trust issues and very low expectations towards the person. This could affect the self-esteem and quality of life of the person, which is a great motivator for relapsing.