The good news is that effective treatment can stop the harm caused by addiction and even reverse some of the damage. However, until effective recovery occurs, damage can continue to be done, and the effects of addiction may be harder to overcome.

Physical Effects of Addiction


Effects of substances on the body will vary, based on the specific substance used and the way in which it is administered. Some of the common physical effects of addiction might include:

  • Sexual dysfunction and fertility issues
  • Increased heart rate, heart irregularities, increased risk for heart attack
  • Lung damage, increased risk of lung cancer or breathing problems
  • Damage to the liver and/or kidneys, can be permanent
  • Gastrointestinal problems characterized by nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Contraction of STDs due to risky sexual behavior
  • Higher risk of HIV, AIDs and hepatitis due to use of dirty needles
  • Damage to the brain, development of seizures, risk of stroke
  • Increased risk for some types of cancer

Psychological Effects of Addiction


The psychological effects of substance addiction can also be varied and intense. Psychological consequences may be the result of issues that led you to use in the first place, or due to changes in brain chemistry and function as a result of substance use. Psychological effects might include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Impaired brain function and memory loss, can be permanent
  • Erratic, intense mood swings
  • Aggressive or hostile behavior
  • Delusions, hallucinations or paranoia
  • Intense cravings for the drug and withdrawal symptoms when drug is stopped
  • Suicidal thoughts and ideations

Other Consequences of Addiction

In addition to the toll substance abuse takes on the body, there can be other consequences of addiction as well:

  • Loss of some relationships
  • Job Loss
  • Legal problems (arrests, driver’s license suspension)
  • Changes to living situation

While the consequences of addiction can be severe – and some can be long-lasting – help is available to overcome addiction and find a new path to healthy sobriety. Treatment programs are plentiful today, with many options that allow you to customize your treatment to your specific needs. To learn more about treating addiction, contact Treatment Now.

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