What Addiction Does to Your Life: Physically, Mentally, and Socially
Addiction impacts your physical and mental state and how you behave socially. The girl who ran marathons dutifully would soon find herself barely able to walk a mile if she fell into addiction.
The boy who always had a smile on his face, ready to help anyone in need, would become a shell of a person who always wants to be alone. Addiction does not discriminate, and it is essential to understand the different ways it can affect lives.
The Impact of Addiction
Often, individuals who struggle with substance use experience adverse effects from their addiction, such as physical harm to the body, mental instability, and interference in their social life.
How Addiction Affects Your Body
Drinking too much alcohol or abusing drugs can harm your health, affecting multiple parts of your body. Alcohol and drugs disrupt how your brain communicates through pathways while changing how your brain looks and operates. As the addiction increases, other areas of your brain associated with decision-making and behavior regulation begin to alter and cause irrational behaviors that are out of character.
Consuming too much alcohol or abusing drugs over a long time can damage your heart, resulting in cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, stroke, or high blood pressure problems. Heavy drinking and drug use also lead to problems with your liver, including steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, or cirrhosis. Additionally, too much alcohol can cause your pancreas to produce toxic substances that result in pancreatitis.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there is a solid scientific consensus that drinking too much alcohol and abusing drugs can trigger several types of cancer. Evidence implies that the more alcohol or drugs an individual regularly consumes over time, the higher their risk of developing cancer associated with the substance abuse.
How Addiction Affects Your Mental Health
Alcohol consumption and drug abuse interfere with chemicals in your brain essential for a healthy mental state. Ironically, some people drink or use drugs in an effort to feel better.
Still, in reality, alcohol and some drugs are considered depressants and contribute to worsening symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and stress. Therefore, if you consume too much alcohol or drugs, it is more likely that you will become depressed or anxious, making stress challenging to handle.
How Addiction Affects Your Social Life
Drug abuse is usually done in a private space since the substances are illegal. However, the individuals still become impulsive and untrustworthy. While some people can drink socially, others become unpredictable and unreliable after having too many drinks.
People who struggle with alcohol or drug addiction tend to lose interest in hobbies and focus entirely on when they can use again, with a condensed quality of life. Additionally, they are at risk of losing friends or family members due to the unspeakable ways they treat them.
Family and friends who are close to someone struggling with alcohol or drug addiction are affected in many ways, including:
- Family or friends may feel anger, frustration, anxiety, fear, worry, depression, shame, embarrassment, and guilt
- Economic problems occur due to money spent on alcohol or drugs or job loss due to substance use
- Families may experience an increase in tension and conflict associated with substance abuse and the problems it causes
- Family instability due to abuse or violence, separation, divorce, or removal of children from the home by government agencies
Risk Factors for Substance Abuse
Along with all the different ways addiction can affect your life, there are several risk factors for harm caused by drugs or alcohol. Some of those risk factors to consider include:
- The type of drug you use
- The strength of the drug
- How the drug was made, as some drugs are created in peoples' homes and could contain bacteria or dangerous chemicals
- Your physical characteristics, such as height, weight, age, or metabolism, can impact how the drug reacts to your body
- The dose that you consume
- How often and how long you have been using the substance
- How you use the substance, such as inhalation, injection, or orally
- Your mental health, mood, and environment can affect how your mind reacts
- Whether you mix drugs, including alcohol
Remember that addiction does not discriminate. Different types and amounts of substances may affect your body in different ways. The more alcohol or other substances you consume, the higher the likelihood an addiction will develop.
You might start drinking alcohol or using drugs without thinking of the harm they can cause, so understanding what addiction can do to your life is essential to making the right choices.
Understanding how addiction can affect different aspects of your life can influence your choices about using alcohol or drugs. Addiction does not care whom it impacts, and you are not alone in your struggles. If you or a loved one struggle with substance abuse, assistance is available to you, and we want to help. Located in San Diego, California, Present Moments Recovery center offers an individualized and inclusive approach, with many options available for addiction recovery. Our family-run treatment center provides a comfortable and home-like setting where healing can happen. At Present Moments Recovery center, you will be able to connect with the same therapist throughout each level of care, highlighting our distinctive treatment approach. Present Moments Recovery believes that recovery can only happen in the present moment. Call us today and learn more about our services and how we can help you or a loved one at (619) 363-4767.