With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, there is a much more significant problem that troubles almost the entirety of the United States. Substance abuse and addiction have reached insurmountable heights. The CDC is reporting a record number of deaths due to drug overdose. But what is drug addiction? What are its long-term effects? Let’s discuss this in detail.

Drug addiction can result in physical and mental damage that worsens with time. Long-term consequences alter the brain functions, making it impossible for a person to quit an addiction. Physical health issues associated with drug addiction are liver cirrhosis and cardiovascular damage. And, mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and mood swings are linked to drug addiction. Often people use drugs to feel pleasure, induce sleep and reduce pain; however, drugs can cause serious side effects when misused.

Suboxone® doctor Attleboro states that indirect effects of drug addiction can also be noticed, such as financial losses, physical injuries, legal issues, and failed relationships. Often people think consuming drugs can solve their existing problems; instead, it causes mind-altering effects that last lifelong. According to the American Drug Association (ADA), drug addiction is the primary cause of accidental death in the United States as regular intake of drugs leads to multiple organ failure.

Effects of drugs on the body

Drugs used for multiple purposes such as recreation, relief from mental and physical health conditions often result in severe damage that lasts for ages. Drug addiction does not affect a single organ but nearly affects the entire organ system leading to cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal failure.

Cardiovascular system:

Almost every drug negatively impacts the cardiovascular system, but cocaine is a stimulant drug that causes severe damage every time it is used. Individuals inject cocaine through unclean needles that result in cardiovascular infections. Also, injectable drugs such as cocaine and heroin damages veins besides infusing infections in blood vessels. Doctors at Suboxone® treatment centers suggest that prolonged stimulant cocaine abuse increases the chances of heart failure.

Respiratory System:

More than 6% of the American population misuse drugs such as opioids, tranquilizers, hypnotics, and sedatives from the age of 12. Any drug that is smoked can damage the lungs resulting in emphysema, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and breathing problems. Although Sublocade® treatment clinics Dartmouth provides effective treatment for respiratory issues, the condition worsens if the drug is regularly consumed. Among other drugs, opioid is the most potent drug that leads to breathing difficulty and bronchial asthma.

Renal System:

Among all the damages, renal failure is the most severe one resulting in life-threatening conditions. When drugs are consumed excessively, it increases the body temperature further, causing muscle tissue breakdown and dehydration. Suboxone® doctors recommend antipyretic medicines to lower the body temperature but continue the use of drugs can physical health leading to kidney failure.

Liver damage: 

Like other organ damages, Liver damage is also linked to excessive use of drugs along with alcohol. Recent research reported that a combination of alcohol with a drug causes more lethal damage than drugs alone. The majority of the people consuming alcohol and drugs suffer from liver cirrhosis at some point in life.

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Long term neurological effects of drugs

Irrespective of what drug a person is addicted to, it is impossible to overcome the addiction due to severe alterations in the brain. Drugs produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria, which activates the reward system in the brain. The production of a neurotransmitter, dopamine, is increased when a person consumes drugs in large quantities.

Dopamine over-stimulates the areas of the brain that are responsible for producing pleasure naturally. With time, the extreme sense of happiness provokes a person to get addicted to drugs. Continuous overstimulation of dopamine can develop permanent changes in the brain, triggering the brain to produce less dopamine. Sublocade® doctors describe long term effects of drugs and change in the brain that takes place over time.

Impaired cognitive ability:

The addiction to drugs affects the release of dopamine and impairs another neurotransmitter called glutamate. When the release of glutamate and dopamine is involved, the brain struggles to remember various things in daily life. Further, drug addiction usually makes it difficult for a person to think and learn.

Changes in memory:

According to the Sublocade® treatment doctors Taunton, excessive use of drugs like heroin and cocaine brings considerable changes in memory, leading to memory loss or increased cravings for these drugs. Gradually a person finds it difficult to concentrate on daily workings due to memory changes.

Changes in brain neurons:

Continuous use of drugs affects the reward system of the brain and causes disturbances in other areas of the brain. In some cases, the connection between brain cells and neurons increases, whereas it decreases in some cases of drug addiction.

Death of brain cells:

Although Sublocade® treatment benefits multiple cases of drug addiction, the treatment cannot reduce the toxicity of drugs affecting brain cells. Moreover, the toxicity kills the brain cells resulting in permanent damage.

Side effects of drug addiction

  • Drug addiction decreases immunity making a person more prone to diseases and infection.
  • Counselors and physicians at Sublocade® clinics state that a person using drugs for a long time is likely to suffer from abnormal heart rates and collapsed veins. They may also encounter blood vessel infection due to the intravenous route of drug administration.
  • Weight loss, nausea, abdominal cramps, and changes in appetite are common side effects of drug addiction.
  • Due to neurological changes, an individual can also suffer strokes, brain damage, and seizures.
  • Excessive use of drugs with alcohol increases the chances of liver damage. Further Recovery Connection specialists comment that the possibility of recovering from cirrhosis is nil.
  • Memory loss and problems with decision-making are some side effects of drug addiction that disturb a person’s daily schedule addicted to drugs.
  • American Drug Association reported more than 250,000 deaths in 2017-2018 due to overdosing on opioids and cocaine in the United States.

Harmful effects of drug addiction on unborn babies and mothers

The use of drugs for a long time poses health risks to adults and affects pregnant females and their babies. Repetitive consumption of drugs and alcohol harms the fetus resulting in poor nutrition and premature birth. In many cases, babies may also suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome that causes congenital disabilities and cognitive impairment. A total of 15 percent of babies born in 2016 were diagnosed with withdrawal symptoms in the form of neonatal abstinence syndrome. Although Sublocade® treatment for adults with drug addiction was highest in 2018, yet the causes of drug addiction are increasingly high in America.

When does drug use turn into addiction?

More than 8 percent of the population in the United States misused prescription drugs in 2017, and the majority of them were individuals under the age of 18. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publishes that stimulant opioids, sedatives, hypnotics, and tranquilizers are the most commonly misused drugs. The condition where drug use turns into addiction is listed below.

  • Consulting different Sublocade® treatment clinics Dartmouth to get more amounts of drugs.
  • Consuming drugs, even when it is not medically needed.
  • Worsening or exaggerating situations to purchase drugs.
  • Taking a larger quantity of drugs than prescribed by a physician.
  • Improper administration of medicines such as snorting, smoking, crushing pills, or injecting them intravenously.
  • Taking medications to get a feeling of pleasure and euphoria.

Risks of drug addiction

According to the Centers for Drug Control and Prevention (CDC), overtime use of any class of drugs leads to overdose, causing brain cell damage, coma, and ultimately death. More than 90,000 people died due to drug addiction in 2017-2018 in the U.S. A person consuming drugs on a daily basis may not feel harmful effects or toxicity initially, but the impact of drug addiction can be fatal and life-threatening.

Drug addiction affects a person’s physical health and has long-lasting impacts on an individual’s personal life, like relationships. Moreover, long-term use of drugs increases the risk of fatal overdose that results in the death of a person. Effective Suboxone® treatment near me is available to cope with withdrawal symptoms associated with the drugs. Further, doctors also aim to reverse the existing condition through counseling and medications.

Drug addiction affects a person’s physical and mental health and produces indirect long-term effects on a person’s life. People who consume drugs often remain confused about things happening in their surroundings. The state of confusion creates problems in decision making which results in poor decisions. Also, drug addiction can indulge a person in making wrong decisions, such as sharing contaminated needles, unprotected sex, HIV and Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B.


Sublocade® treatment doctors Taunton provide the best residential drug addiction treatment to nourish an individual’s body, mind, and spirit. The therapy addresses mental health issues and treats multiple physical ailments that can help a person reach a stage of drug addiction recovery. Increased use of drugs and alcohol leads to severe impacts that can result in a loss of concentration in personal and professional life. Based on American Drug Association reports, more than 80 percent of offenses in the U.S. happen due to drug and alcohol addiction. It is advised to seek medical professionals’ help if you experience any of your loved ones struggling with drug addiction.