What are the medical consequences of drug addiction?
Individuals who suffer from addiction often have one or more accompanying medical issues, including lung and cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders. Imaging scans, chest x-rays, and blood tests show the damaging effects of drug abuse throughout the body. For example, tests show that tobacco smoke causes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, blood, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. In addition, some drugs of abuse, such as inhalants, are toxic to nerve cells and may damage or destroy them either in the brain or the peripheral nervous system.
Does drug abuse cause mental disorders, or vice versa?
Drug abuse and mental disorders often co-exist. In some cases, mental diseases may precede addiction; in other cases, drug abuse may trigger or exacerbate mental disorders, particularly in individuals with specific vulnerabilities.
What harmful consequences to others result from drug addiction?
Beyond the harmful consequences for the addicted individual, drug abuse can cause serious health problems for others. Three of the more devastating and troubling consequences of addiction are:
What are some effects of specific abused substances?
Thom Kessler, LMFT, RAS
Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Addiction Specialist