Side Effects of Drug Abuse

As a person start abusing a drug (or different types of drugs) regularly, a dependency develops and the addiction sets in. Withdrawing from the drug at this stage becomes very difficult both physically and psychologically. There are a number of complications associated with drug abuse such as:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Irritability, aggressiveness, anxiety attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Inability to maintain relationships
  • Financial ruin
  • Family and loved ones get affected
  • Brain damage – impairment of the inhibitory functions of the brain
  • Increases the risk of partaking in dangerous criminal or sexual behaviors
  • People who suffer from drug addiction often suffer from one or more of the following – stroke, heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and mental disorders
  • Some drugs such as inhalants are toxic and can cause irreparable damage to the nervous system
  • In some cases, drug abuse may aggravate or increase the risk of mental disorders
  • Prenatal exposure to drugs can lead to birth defects and developmental problems in children
  • Injecting drugs such as cocaine and heroin accounts for a large percentage of AIDS cases and hepatitis C.
  • Drugs increase the chance of risky sexual behavior and unprotected sex leading to the spread of AIDS, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Amphetamines and Ecstasy can increase body temperature and lead to seizures and heart problems
  • LSD can cause high blood pressure, sleeplessness, tremors and traumatic experiences
  • Heroin slows down the respiratory process and increases the risk of contracting serious infections in the body.
  • Prescription medicines are increasingly being abused and this can prove lethal in many cases
  • Steroids used for non-medical purposes can cause complications such as liver damage, stroke, depression and suicide
  • Combining two or more drugs or mixing drugs with alcohol can be deadly and pose higher risks than just using the drugs individually

  1. Usha Sambamoorthi, Lynn A. Warner, Stephen Crystal, James Walkup, Drug abuse, methadone treatment, and health services use among injection drug users with AIDS, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 60, Issue 1, 1 July 2000, Pages 77-89, ISSN 0376-8716, 10.1016/S0376-8716(00)80010-1.(
  2. Allison C Morrill, Linda Kasten, Matthew Urato, Mary Jo Larson, Abuse, addiction, and depression as pathways to sexual risk in women and men with a history of substance abuse, Journal of Substance Abuse, Volume 13, Issues 1–2, September 2001, Pages 169-184, ISSN 0899-3289, 10.1016/S0899-3289(01)00065-7.(