Addiction is a disease that has long acquired a scale that threatens the entire society. The systematic use of psychoactive substances causes irreparable harm to human health. Regardless of the type of drug the patient uses, light or heavy, the psyche suffers, personality changes occur, disorientation in society occurs.
With each new dose, the body’s performance deteriorates, its functions are disrupted, tissues die. Addiction affects the condition of almost all organs and systems: heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, endocrine glands. The patient slowly dies, rarely lives over 10 years from the onset of dependence.
How do drugs work?
Since ancient times, people have found that certain plants (eclate, poppy seeds, mandrake root, etc.) can cause unusual effects, affect the human mind and condition. Galen, Hippocrates wrote about drugs.
These substances are able to enter into a stupor, to whom, remove sensitivity to pain, give a feeling of euphoria. Thanks to these properties, it is possible to treat diseases, for example, depression, to relieve pain in the final stages of cancer.
But there is a flip side to the coin. Psychoactive substances can cause addiction. Sometimes for its formation it is necessary to take the drug just a few times. Further, a person begins to constantly need stimulation from the outside, ceases to control cravings, loses his will. The body quickly gets used to drugs and does not respond to the previous dose. Tolerance is growing.
The addict is forced to use the substance more and more.
He is no longer interested in society, relations, family. Feeling of hunger disappears. All thoughts are focused on finding a new dose, with only one goal – to avoid breaking.
The withdrawal syndrome is due to changes that the drug takes in the body. Intervention in the metabolism causes a violation of the central nervous system, namely, transmission of a nerve impulse. The brain stops the production of neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, GABA, etc.), which are responsible for mental health, attitude and human behavior.
Negative effects on internal organs
Addicted to drugs, the patient changes beyond recognition. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. No wonder drug addiction is recognized as a disease. Repeated intake of psychoactive substances leads to the development of severe chronic intoxication (poisoning).
The work of internal organs, the nervous system, and the brain is disrupted. Gradually, and sometimes sharply, they fail. At the same time, immunity is reduced, pathogenic agents multiply in the body almost unhindered. A common SARS for a drug addict can result in pneumonia and death.
The mechanism of the effect of drugs on the heart muscle is different and depends on the type of substance used:
- Cocaine and amphetamines stimulants cause palpitations, increase pressure and body temperature. As a result, the load on the heart increases and a spasm of peripheral vessels occurs. The muscle wears out quickly, the risk of a heart attack increases.
- Opiates morphine and heroin, on the contrary, inhibit the activity of the cardiovascular system. Blood pressure decreases and heart rate slows down. Coronary vessels are affected, myocardial infiltrates appear.
Addicts are prone to arrhythmias, tachycardia, heart attacks. Pretty soon, they develop dystrophy of the heart muscle and heart failure increases. Even in the event of a sudden death from an overdose, the organ is very worn out and matches the heart of an 80-year-old man.
The damage to the gastrointestinal tract is caused by a decrease in appetite, general exhaustion, as well as direct exposure to psychoactive substances. How drugs affect digestion:
- at the neuro-reflex level inhibit regulatory processes;
- reduce the secretion of gastric juice and enzymes;
- disrupt intestinal motility.
Addicts often suffer from constipation, cramping of the stomach and intestines. Due to the delay in feces, the reverse absorption of toxins occurs, poisoning occurs. Also, patients suffer from vitamin deficiencies due to lack of food, its poor digestibility.
When smoking narcotic substances, tar, soot, various poisons settle in the lungs, tissues lose their elasticity, and the area involved in gas exchange decreases. Drug addicts increase their susceptibility to various kinds of infections, a chronic lack of oxygen appears throughout the body, and brain nutrition worsens.
When using psychoactive substances in other ways, the cough center is inhibited. In the lungs, mucus accumulates, dust from atmospheric air, its own dead cells, which are a breeding ground for bacteria. Among drug addicts, a high percentage of fatal cases of pneumonia.
Central nervous system
Psychoactive substances reduce the excitability of the respiratory center, cause hypoxia (oxygen starvation) of organs and tissues. The central nervous system suffers from a lack of nutrition. In addition, the use of stimulants entails the depletion of neurotransmitters.
What external symptoms are disorders of the nervous system:
- sleep disorders
- hallucinations (outside the narcotic effect);
- panic attacks, psychosis;
- suicidal, paranoid thoughts;
- deterioration of logical thinking;
- depressive states;
- violation of the sensitivity of limbs, other parts of the body.
Addicts are characterized by central nervous system diseases such as neurasthenia, encephalopathy, and vegetative-vascular dystonia. With opioid dependence, acute ischemic disorders of cerebral circulation occur. Reception of stimulants is fraught with hemorrhagic stroke.
The main task of the liver is to process dangerous substances, to prevent their penetration into other organs. When taking drugs, the amount of toxins is so large that the liver cells can not cope and begin to die.
As the functions of the organ deteriorate, metabolic problems occur, hazardous chemistry spreads throughout the body. Intoxication is growing even more. This is followed by organ failure and death.
The drug addict suffers from the excretory system. Under the influence of amphetamines, urination becomes more frequent, a large volume of toxins passes through the kidneys, as a result of which the organ becomes inflamed.
With the intravenous administration of opiates, muscle tissue is rapidly destroyed, dead particles of protein enter the kidneys through the bloodstream and clog the channels. Renal failure is a common diagnosis among drug addicts.
With drug addiction infertility develops, this applies to both sexes. In men, potency decreases, sperm lose their mobility (up to 100%), in women menstruation ceases (this is amenorrhea).
Reproductive system disorders are caused by hormonal changes, chronic intoxication, general physical exhaustion. If a woman becomes pregnant, there is a high risk of miscarriage, developmental delay, intrauterine pathologies. In the case when the mother continues to abuse, after the birth, the child has a withdrawal syndrome.
The appearance of the addict
The first symptoms of drug addiction appear pretty soon. The patient worsens the condition of the skin, hair, nails, teeth. The appearance of the addict resembles an old man:
- flabby, sagging skin;
- bad teeth, rotten (partially or completely absent);
- blackness under the eyes;
- dry, dull hair;
- reddened sclera of the eyes;
- yellow or earthy complexion;
- lean physique on the verge of anorexia;
- poorly healing abrasions, wounds.
In general, drug addicts have a tired, exhausted appearance. When using amphetamines, deep acne and hollows appear on the face.
Impact on immunity
Drugs trigger self-destruction processes in the body. Amphetamines disrupt the coordination of immune cells and reduce the concentration of T-killers, as a result of which the system begins to destroy itself.
The opioid series inhibits the work of all types of lymphocytes. Being lethargic, they cease to produce protective bodies. In addition, using a common syringe and living a hectic sex life, drug addicts are at a high risk of contracting the immunodeficiency virus.
Effect on the psyche
Malnutrition of the brain, excessive stimulation of psychoactive zones, lack of proper rest lead to inhibition of cognitive functions. Drug addicts get worse:
- attention and concentration;
- logical and imaginative thinking;
In addition, vocabulary is sharply reduced among addicts, and perception of reality is distorted. Schizophrenia, insanity are frequent consequences of drug use.
Negative personality change addict
Antisocial lifestyle and mental disorders entail changes in the moral character of a person. The personality of the addict is characterized by the following features:
- weak will
- low self-esteem;
- lethargy, followed by bouts of aggression and irritation;
- lack of any interests other than drugs;
- inability to respond effectively to stressful situations;
- low learning ability.
Drug addicts are easily influenced by outsiders, step over the law, moral principles. They are completely disoriented in their own lives, lose the ability to love, appreciate family, love and friendships.
Drug mortality statistics
The prognosis for addicts is disappointing. Life expectancy from the beginning of use rarely exceeds 10 years, which is significantly less than among patients with AIDS and cancer.
The statistics are as follows:
- annually about 70,000 people die from drug addiction in Russia;
- 86,000 inhabitants of the country become drug addicted annually;
- the average age of onset is 15-17 years;
- 56% of boys and 20% of adolescent girls have tried these substances at least once;
- over the past 10 years, the number of drug-dependent women has increased 6.5 times;
- 85% immunodeficiency virus is transmitted through a common needle in a circle of drug addicts;
- 90% of addicts are infected with hepatitis C, B.
Addicts die as a result of overdose, accidents, commit suicide. Causes of death such as chronic diseases of internal organs, violent acts, and HIV are also common.
Even using light drugs, a person causes irreparable harm to the body and psyche. Sooner or later, a need arises for a stronger sensation. The addict switches to intravenous administration. In just 4-5 years of systematic abuse, complete personal and social degradation ensues if the patient is fortunate enough not to die from an overdose earlier.
Given all this, drugs should be perceived as a dangerous weapon that can kill a person in a short time.