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7 Dangers of Substance Abuse Every Loved One Needs to Know

Nearly 20% of people over 12  have substance abuse disorder (SUD). More than the simple use of an illegal substance, SUD represents a turning point where use has become excessive and dangerous. But despite the dangers of substance abuse, you may feel unable to quit using this substance, legal or not.

Your body becomes more dependent on the drug to feel normal. While you can get effective treatment for substance abuse at any point, early intervention can save you a lot of hardship.

For that reason, knowing the real risks you face if you continue may be precisely what you need to stop this now, reclaim your life, and begin steps toward a healthier life in recovery.

1. Dangers of Substance Abuse: Health Effects

Abusing drugs and alcohol has long-term effects, certainly. But you’re also doing immediate damage to your body.

Depending on the drug you’re using, you may be causing:

  • Constipation, which can turn deadly
  • Abnormal cell growth, which is the precursor to cancer
  • Heart stress, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke
  • Malnutrition and dangerous weight loss
  • Tooth and gum decay
  • Stomach and nostril rot
  • Sunken skin
  • Liver damage

In some cases, the damage is reversible. But you may experience life-long complications and scarring.

2. Increased Injury Risk

Another of the dangers of substance abuse is the risk of injury. When you use drugs that alter your mood and perceptions, you’re more likely to engage in risky behaviors like:

  • Sharing needles
  • Attempting stunts
  • Going to dangerous places
  • Driving
  • Committing crimes

In the early stage of drug use, you might be more aware of safety. But as the addiction progresses, you experience lowered inhibitions and increased risk.

On top of all of that, because you’re impaired, even walking around can be dangerous. Slipping and hitting your head can cause brain damage or death.

3. Overdose

A significant risk for some drugs is overdosing. Overdose can happen even when you think you’re being safe.

For example, if you buy heroin, it may be mixed with fentanyl. Fentanyl is said to be 100X stronger than heroin. But if you use it, thinking its heroin, you’d take too much.

4. Poor Hygiene

Poor hygiene might not sound very dangerous. But consider this, if you have a cut on your arm and don’t keep it clean, you run the risk of a severe infection. Infections that go untreated may lead to the loss of a limb. So yes, losing your body parts is among the dangers too.

5. Damage to Baby During Pregnancy

Often, women don’t always know when they first become pregnant. Thus, drug use can cause permanent damage to a baby. They may develop anything from learning disabilities to a significant heart defect.

6. Dangers of Substance Abuse: Mental Health Disorders

Sometimes mental illness leads to drug abuse. And sometimes vice versa.

When you abuse drugs, you physically alter the way your brains function, increasing the risk that you will develop a mental illness such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder

If you’ve already begun to experience the symptoms of disorders, any addiction treatment you receive must be in a dual diagnosis program. This means they treat mental illness and addiction together.

Otherwise, either one will cause a relapse.

7. Broken Relationships

When someone abuses drugs, family and friends may stick around for a while. They may try to help.

But to protect themselves, loved ones eventually have to “get help or we can’t see you”.

Drug abuse cuts you off from your support system. This may cause you to fall deeper into addiction. But remember, you’re the only one who can help yourself by seeking treatment.

Overcomes the Dangers of Substance Abuse

The Recovery Ranch TN offers you a way to escape the dangers of substance abuse. We give you the tools you need to begin reclaiming your life.

Each program is built around your unique needs. And yes, we offer dual diagnosis treatment so that you experience more lasting recovery.

You may benefit from our addiction treatment programs like:

Is substance abuse putting you and your family at risk? A quality treatment program can help. Call us at 1.844.876.7680 today.

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