Drug Abuse and The Effect On The Body
We live in a society that puts a high value on beauty. Trying to look younger is a priority for many individuals who are self-conscious about their aging. There are a lot of anti-aging products and services out there, and there are just as many things that also advance the aging process.
Does Drug Use Speed Up Ageing
A lot of the goods that we put in our bodies are silently aging us, even if we don’t notice right away. Can drug abuse accelerate aging? The short answer is absolutely, yes.
We’ve all seen those before and after photos of drug addicts. They are on billboards all across the country and have even appeared in TIME magazine. They are usually mugshots of people from their earliest arrest to their most recent arrest.
The results are staggering. People who at one time looked healthy and fit are transformed into shells of their former selves. People who are in their thirties or forties look more like they are in their fifties or sixties.
Drugs have an effect on every part of our body. Drug abuse affects our teeth, skin, hair, and our organs.
Beyond that, drugs have an extremely negative effect on the brain and our thought patterns. When you are deep into a drug addiction, your brain is rewired by whatever drug you are addicted to. Logic and common sense take a back seat to the drug.
The toxicity of drugs and the lifestyle associated with addiction combined do a lot of damage to our bodies. The overall wear and tear that we put on ourselves over the years adds up as we age. This is true for any human being who is not also using drugs.
When you throw a drug addiction into the mix, you are greatly accelerating the process. There are a number of different ways that drugs can accelerate aging.
Why Do Addicts Age Faster?
Drugs have a tremendous impact on our bones. Drug abuse depletes the body of calcium, which can lead to bone loss, deterioration and osteoporosis. Researchers have found that opiate addiction greatly increases the risk of drug induced osteoporosis.
Drug abuse has a huge effect on the mouth as well, with many forms of drugs being responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. Stimulants such as meth or cocaine cause involuntary teeth grinding, which greatly weakens and causes irreparable damage to the teeth.
There is also the issue of drug abuse and its effects on the skin. Long term drug use dries the skin and depletes it of the vitamins and minerals that help hydrate it. Over time, the skin deteriorates and becomes harder to heal.
Drugs such as opiates can cause addicts to frantically scratch and pick at their skin, which also does a great amount of damage. Prolonged drug abuse does a great amount of damage to your face. Common signs are bloodshot eyes, droopy eyelids, skin sores and wrinkles.
Because drugs lead to malnourishment, it causes a great deal of nutritional and vitamin deficiencies in addicts. Beyond causing damage to our skin and teeth, our hair suffers as well. The lack of vitamins and minerals can cause the hair to become lifeless and dull.
Because drugs lead to high levels of physical and emotional stress, it can lead to stress-induced hair loss as well. Our bodies shed excessive amounts of hair in an attempt to compensate for the damage done to our organs.
Another interesting thing to note is the effect drugs have on our perspiration. A lot of drugs cause the body to overheat, producing more sweat than usual. Sweat is made up of the toxic byproducts of whatever drugs you are ingesting.
The skin absorbs these byproducts, which leads to the advancement of aging. The lifestyle associated with drug abuse doesn’t go hand in hand with personal hygiene. Drug addicts are typically not concerned with anything that isn’t the drug they are addicted to.
This lack of personal care contributes greatly to the deterioration of our appearance.
Drug Abuse and The Brain
Our brains are very complex organs. Drug use interferes with the way our brains send and receive signals throughout the rest of our bodies.
Our brains are constantly working, so repeated drug abuse alters the way that we think and greatly affects our emotions and the way we process information. Different drugs have different effects on the way our brains operate.
Drugs such as opiates actually mimic neurotransmitters in our bodies, however they do not work the same way.
This can send abnormal messages throughout the brain that then affects the rest of our body. Drugs such as cocaine cause the brain to release too much dopamine, which is the chemical associated with pleasure. Our brains are wired to operate based on repeated activities.
Once the brain gets used to the effect drugs have on it, it needs those drugs to continue operating the way it is wired to.
This is a very dangerous game to play with your brain. Your brain builds up a tolerance to the large amount of dopamine that is released due to drug use, which creates the need for a higher amount of substances to attain that euphoric feeling.
This is why we see so many people hopelessly addicted to drugs. Once you’ve used them long enough, you have rewired your brain to need the drugs to operate. When you quit using drugs, you are doing your brain a giant favor.
Even after achieving sobriety, the brain can still be permanently damaged. The sooner you quit, the better chance you have of getting your brain back.