The Negative Consequences of Addiction

The Negative Consequences of Addiction

As per the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million Americans aged 12 years and over were battling a substance use disorder. Addiction is a complex disease that changes brain functioning in a way that compels the use of alcohol or drugs just to feel normal, despite the negative. Drug addiction, substance abuse and alcohol abuse negatively impacts lives by distorting lifestyles to an extent where all other priorities in life are de-emphasized. Besides health, addiction also affects the social network of relationships, family and friends, of the person addicted person.

How Drug Addiction Affects Health

  1. Loss of appetite which often leads to a drastic loss of weight
  2. Drug addiction could lead to malfunction of organs – lungs, liver, heart and sometimes, the brain.
  3. Drug addiction could affect kidney functioning and could possibly lead to kidney failure
  4. Alcohol and tobacco addiction increases the probability of developing cancer
  5. Drug addiction and alcohol dependence increases the chances of risky behaviour – sharing of needles of impaired driving – could lead to acquiring communicable diseases or increase chances of inury or death
  6. Addiction to multiple drugs increases chances of blood toxicity and sepsis, which could lead to organ damage or death.
  7. Drug addiction leads to increased mental health issues and a person could suffer from anxiety or depression and experience psychotic episodes
  8. The immune system is compromised, which increases the chances of contracting communicable diseases, such as COVID-19
  9. Drug addiction can lead to hormonal imbalance – men could suffer from decreased testosterone and it could cause infertility in women
  10. Unstable body functioning could lead to physical injuries

How Addiction Affects Brain Functions And Social Relations?

  1. Higher risk tolerance and impaired decision-making skills could lead to participation in criminal or illegal activities
  2. Obsessive addiction to drugs can lead to withdrawal from social relationships – getting more distant from family and friends. Profesional relationships may also be affected.
  3. Drug addiction leads to reduced empathy and sensitivity and could lead to apathy toward others and, sometimes, lead to  mental or physical abuse of others.
  4. Destructive behaviour could lead to the isolation
  5. Impulsive behavior and lack of self-control
  6. Drug addiction can lead to engagement with the law – reasons could be driving under the influence (DUI), domestic violence, criminal activities, theft, etc.
  7. Drug addiction can make people paranoid and lead to them experience out-of-body episodes. It could also lead to onset of schizophrenia due to the hallucinogenic effects of certain drugs
  8. Drug addiction can reduce pain perception in human beings, which can be detrimental as it is one of our defense mechanisms to health, internal and external

How Can Addiction Affect New Born Babies

Pregnant women, addicted to drugs or alcohol can cause severe harm to the unborn child leading to birth defects or giving birth to an infant who is born suffering with withdrawal symptoms. Lack of proper nutrition of the mother can cause neo-natal defects, premature births, and even miscarriages. Even in cases of normal births, children can develop certain physical and mental disorders later in life.

What Are Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms are prevalent in regular drug users who do not have access to their drug or alcohol of choice or try to quit using voluntarily. Withdrawal symptoms could include, fever, chills, insomnia, aches, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, tremors, shakes, acute cravings, etc. It is hard for an individual suffering from addiction to deal with these symptoms on their own and they should seek treatment. Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous – withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines can lead to seizures, stroke or even death. It is important for people experiencing withdrawal symptoms to access to proper medical help and treatment.

The list of negative consequences of becoming addicted to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is extensive and affects all aspects of a person’s life. It is important to realize that withdrawal symptoms and addiction can be treated and a full recovery is possible. Drug rehabs, addiction therapy and addiction treatment are established by licensed facilities to help people recover from addiction and start living a productive life.

Drug addiction and alcohol dependence can be treated. However, the individual afflicted by the disease of addiction needs to recognize that they have a problem and be willing to enter treatment. With the stigma around the disease of addiction still high, people suffering from addiction are generally more resistant to seek treatment in an inpatient setting. Luckily, addiction treatment has evolved over the past several years and now all addiction treatment, including detoxification for alcohol, benzos and opiates, is available in an outpatient setting. Please go to to learn more about treatment options.


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Coping with Stress and Addiction During the Pandemic

Coping with Stress and Addiction During the Pandemic

During these challenging times, every third person is dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and stress, which are triggers for relapse for people in recovery. Changing precautionary measure and constant news feeds about the Covid-19 pandemic, isolation and inner turmoil during seem impossible to master. In addition to individuals suffering from mental health or addiction issues, even people who were functioning normally during regular times are feeling the pressure. People are using social media and even turning to pornography to deal with stress, anxiety and loneliness.

The COVID-19 crisis appears to be be spiraling out of control with every passing day. But it is important to realize that getting stressed and anxious will not make the situation any better. One has to incorporate a few lifestyle changes to add structure to dismantled routines that have become the new normal. It will also help to cope with mental health issues that crop up and avoid relapse triggers.

  • Develop an everyday routine

Routine delivers normalcy and adds a sense of purpose and meaning to everyday living. While it is tempting to let schedules remain scattered and chaotic during this pandemic, it does make you feel disoriented and lost. Creating a well-defined daily routine can help you take control of your actions and make sure you meet your goals on time without falling prey to the infinite triggers that come uninvited throughout the day.

  • Keep yourself engaged

Staying secluded within four walls surely stimulates negative memories and causes you to relive and regret negative things that happened in your life. When you find yourself falling into a web of endless contemplation, you need to distract yourself before it consumes your entire day. Maybe you could read the book that has been gathering dust on your book shelf, or maybe you could also learn a new language or try your hand at painting. Overcoming stress sometimes requires you to indulge in activities that require focus and creativity. And a little bit of fun too!

  • Stay connected

While people have to stay apart in the current scenario, technology can be extremely handy to stay connected with loved ones. Depriving yourself of the warmth of relationships during this pandemic is only going to accelerate the feelings of loneliness in unexpected ways. When isolation hurts, reach out to a friend or loved one.

  • Ditch the screen

All of us have been conditioned to check the phone the minute the screen lights up with a new notification! It is hard to ignore the phone and putting it away is a difficult task. During the current pandemic, news feeds constantly deliver bad news about the spread of the epidemic. Although it is not easy, staying “technology free” for a certain period of time every day will help in overcoming stress and focusing on what is important.

While it is a good thing to keep yourself on the loop with all the current happenings, hitting the stop button for a fixed period of time will serve to reduce anxiety and stress.

  • Seek help

Anecdotal evidence suggests alcohol use has surged and relapse rates have spiked during the pandemic, as a way of coping with stress.

When you find yourself coping with loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression by abusing alcohol or drugs, it is time to seek professional help from a reputed addiction treatment facility in New Jersey. Addiction treatment professionals can help you to recognize the underlying issues causing you to abuse substances or alcohol. But it is up to you to reach out to the right programs and avail of Addiction Treatment in New Jersey. Many programs are effective and provide medically monitored detoxification services.

  • Love yourself everyday

You are the most important person in the world to yourself! Always remember that. You need to stay nourished, physically, mentally and emotionally. Overcoming stress will become easier if you focus on loving yourself.

Stock up your kitchen with nourishing fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks. It will help build immunity and fill your mind and soul with positive energy.

Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. It is indeed hard to stay in touch with anyone during the pandemic. But make an effort to have a core set up of positive people who you touch base with often. One of them could be your AA/NA sponsor. If you have one.

Have an exercise routine you can follow inside your home. Maybe partner with like-minded people and all of you can exercise together over a Zoom call!

  • Reach out for help

The loneliness the pandemic has brought has felled many a strong person. Recognize that you are not super human and do not expect perfection from yourself. The loneliness and isolation caused by the pandemic can trigger a relapse even in the strongest of people.

If you have a slip-up, do not beat yourself up. Seek professional help at the earliest and do not let the issue fester and intensify. Many people feel stigmatized by addiction and are generally more resistant to seek treatment in an inpatient setting. Luckily, addiction treatment has evolved over the past several years and now all addiction treatment, including detoxification for alcohol, benzos and opiates, is available in an outpatient setting. Please go to to learn more about treatment options.


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