Consequences and effects of drug addiction and alcoholism

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Consequences and effects of drug addiction and alcoholism, have both medical and social effects.

Health effects of drug addiction and alcohol abuse - The most obvious negative effects of drug addiction or alcohol abuse is deterioration in physical and mental state of an addict.

Effects of drug abuse on the brain

Different types of drugs cause particular and quite specific effects of chronic drug intoxification.

  • Effects of drug abuse on the brain in case of untreated drug and alcohol abuse is irreversible condition that leads to progressive deterioration of  personality.   Degradation begins with memory loss, inability to concentrate and further shows up in reduced physical and mental activity, in a tendency to fruitless fantasies, excessive irritability and sleep disorders.   The normal human emotions, desires, interests, work skills gradually fade and meaning of life gets limited to searching for drugs. Untreated addiction undoubtedly  ends up in irreversible dementia.
  • Mental disorders in case of a drug abuse are varied and accompany  all its forms. The most common characteristic of mental disorder is psychosis, which may occur either shortly after using the drug or during the withdrawal.  Acute psychosis is characterized by a pronounce  anxiety,  kind of panic attack, paranoia, consciousness disorders up to the visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations and delusions. Often such states result in committing suicide. Use of  improvised and counterfeit drugs presents particular danger to life and health of a drug addict. Chronic drug users  look physically exhausted. They have  distinctive appearance: pallor, poor skin elasticity, feverish bright eyes, dry nails, hair loss, they are underweight.  Addicts look much older than their physiological age. All male drug addicts sooner or later develop impotence, as well as female addicts develop  frigidity. Negatively affected by drugs and alcohol germ cells often result  in the birth of weak and sick children with different congenital defects. Pregnancy in case of active drug use  runs hard, with complications and high chances of miscarriage and preterm birth. After birth such children are growing poorly, lagging behind in their physical and mental development. They often get sick.  Children whose mothers were on drugs during pregnancy are already born addicted to drugs  with all ensuing consequences.

The fact that drugs are extremely harmful knows everybody, including the drug addicts themselves. But some "safe" in their view drugs like marijuana or MMDA (ecstasy) "not harmful" only in that way that the addiction to them develops more slowly and destruction that they cause to the body is not noticeable  immediately.

All the drugs without exception destroy the brain in the first place (actually, the second one is not necessary – the first one is sufficient). Even if a person smokes marijuana occasionally (the weakest of all the drugs), he is already initiating  the irreversible effects of drug abuse on the brain which  manifest  in weakening  attention, reduced memory capacity,  in forming the typical for the drug addicts thinking and behavior patterns, which are very well shown in numerous drug addicts jokes and "freaky films" with their  peculiar flat sense of humor. The stronger the drugs (means all the rest!) the worse their effects.


Different types of drugs effects differently on the brain

  • Hallucinogens. Fans of "watch cartoons" lose control over their lives, behavior. They struggle  to distinguish  reality and illusions. Perception of a real world is getting altered. They loose ability to produce logic conclusions. It often triggers  the  outset of schizophrenia.

  • Psychostimulants. Fans of amphetamines and cocaine after a short period of time  can no  longer lift a up  finger without a dose due to physical  weakness, apathy, and  inevitable depression.
  • Opiates and opioids (opiate derivates). From the first time it is a fantastic euphoria, which lasts for several hours, but soon after it needs the higher doses of the drug with the continuously less euphoric effect. And out of  drugs there is inability to get pleasure from natural sources  (eg, sex), and the constant, obsessive desire to  experience the initial euphoria again.  And then again apathy, dysphoria, depression ...

And these are just the psychological problems which are waiting for every  fancier to play with narcotics.  But do not be confused by the word "just". Because everyone who has gone through this experience will tell you exactly what the real hell is.

Social effects of drug or alcohol addiction

The problem of addiction is not only a problem  of an addict.  In addition to health damage effects, alcohol addiction and drug addiction have an extremely negative social aspect. The problem  has negative impact on such aspects of social life as:


  • Marriage and interpersonal relationships
  • Family relationships
  • Education
  • Professional activities and employment
  • Financial issuies
  • Law-abiding and order

If one of spouses uses drugs or abuses alcohol it inevitably has a negative impact on the other half. Under constant alcohol and drug abuse the nature of a man is changing. Previously easy going, kind, supportive person is turning  into  a secretive, cruel, arrogant, explosive egoist prone to frequent mood swings from deep apathy to inexplicable joy and aggressiveness.

To compromise, communicate normally with an addict is incredibly hard not only to strangers, but also to close relatives, spouses. The situation becomes even more complicated when it involves children. For them to see one of the parents (or both) under constant  influence  is extremely traumatic.  Undoubtedly it leaves  negative imprint on the formation of their future psyche.

Drug addicts tend to have financial problems to which their relatives, spouses dont pay serious consideration initially. Over time, this problem becomes apparent. And now let”s multiply the constant financial problems, numerous debts, problems with employment by  the freak behavior with frequent violent outburst and paranoia, unwillingness to work, repeated problems with the law - and you will get the ready recipe for almost inevitable divorce.

Sad that all these changes in personality occur to people who are not  the aggressive psychopaths or  complete egoists by their nature, but who become ones as a result of drug and alcohol addiction. Drugs or alcohol become the  meaning of their life.  Everything else has little importance, or generally regarded as an obstacle to achieving the main goal - the drug or alcohol acquisition.


Alcohol and Drug Abuse Affects Everyone in the Family 

The families of the victims of drug abuse, especially children, are ashamed of their behavior. They are worried about the idea what people around may think about them and often they dont know how to solve the situation.

Initially the drug addicts relatives surround  one with care, trying to show him their love, support, trying to enable him to recognize the problem,  the need for treatment and make him do the first step to recovery.

However, quite often after a row of unsuccessful attempts to persuade an addict to pass the treatment   there is no more other solution left, but to expel  him from the family.  However, isolation  doesn’t solve the problem. Family support deprivation leaves the addict alone to face his addiction and thus makes the vicious circle  closed. To get out of this hell without the help is impossible.

Education and employment effects

For a teenager or a young adult with his unformed psyche and immature volitional mechanisms it is difficult to resist the temptation to smoke, to drink alcohol or to  take drugs. The desire to be part of the "circle", to try the forbidden fruit, “to be like an adult”  can quickly lead  to addiction.

Antisocial or irrational behavior, unexplained poor school or college attendance, larceny reports, as well as,  poor performance, reduced concentration, lack of motivation for continuing education can be the signs of using the drugs.

Expulsion from school, college, university is the common outcome of this situation.

Drugs destroy professional skills. Quick-witted, punctual, efficient workers before  quickly turn into irresponsible, lazy, prone to theft and rudeness slackers from which the employers seek to get rid of as quickly as possible.

Financial consequences of drug abuse and alcohol addiction

Financial problems arise inevitably  when it comes to alcoholism or drug abuse, which affect not only  an addict personally but also his family and the whole society. Initially money are spent on acquisition of drugs and  then on medical treatment, and then again, in case of relapse, on drugs, on treatment and so on again and again. Take into consideration public spending on governmental rehabilitation programs, spending on police, courts, prisons, add to it  job loss, reduction in tax revenues and increased governmental  spending on benefits and you will get the price of addiction.

Criminal behavior resulting from the effects of alcohol or drugs

Drug users often commit crimes to obtain money for drugs. At the beginning they steal money from relatives, colleagues, then they go on burglary, robbery, or even homicide. Prostitution is a common way to get money for female addicts.

Drug users and alcoholics often commit crimes  under the influence. Scuffles, antisocial behavior, aggression, inexplicable cruelty towards  people around them is a common outcome of alcohol or drug intoxication.

Most of the crimes committed in Europe, America, are alcohol or drug associated crimes. Theft, vandalism, robbery, mugging and etc. - is a way to get money for a drug. And the more serious adiiction the greater the chance of committing the crimes of violence. The drug addicts are  people who in their desperate desire to get another dose are ready for anything. Their behavior is controlled by their addiction. They don’t belong to themselves.  And if the chance to get money requires violence, cruelty  they  take it without hesitation.

In fact, everything that is listed here, sooner or later is waiting  for every drug addict, if only, of course, the one who has rigidly and firmly set foot on this path wont die  from overdose before.

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