Drug Abuse Effects On The Mind, Body, And Soul

Gemma Andaya
Gemma Andaya
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    Drug abuse is a symptom of an underlying problem, often related to a traumatic experience. Many people who struggle with substance abuse take drugs to self-medicate, only to find that taking the substance makes their life even worse. Drug abuse affects the mind, body, and soul, as these aspects that make up a human being are not separate from one another. On a physical level, drug abuse can cause illness and lead to serious physical complications, in addition to the effects that all drugs have on people’s brain chemistry. On a spiritual level, drug abuse prevents a person from achieving their soul’s purpose, whatever it may be. 

    What Is Drug Abuse?

    Drug abuse is the overuse or misuse of addictive substances, whether they are prescribed or not. People who abuse drugs often become dependent on them and feel that they need to keep using them to function, be productive, or manage their lives in general. One of the problematic aspects of drug abuse is that people will often continue taking drugs despite the negative effect it has on their lives. Once drug abuse has progressed to this stage, it is considered an addiction, which needs to be taken seriously and requires professional treatment. Drug abuse can increase the risk of addiction, suicide, cardiac arrest, and a host of mental, physical, and spiritual side effects.

    The Effects On The Mind

    Drugs disrupt brain chemistry and affect a person’s ability to think clearly. Some substances can have serious psychoactive side effects, causing the central nervous system to speed up or slow down while also affecting the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. A person’s brain and behavior are connected in ways that a person using drugs may not initially be aware of. Nevertheless, substance use can result in personality changes and mental health disorders. When your brain is altered, the way you feel, perceive reality, make decisions, absorb information, and even move your body become altered as well. Here are some effects that drugs have on people’s brains and thought processes:

    • Impaired memory
    • Impulse control issues 
    • Difficulty concentrating 
    • Psychotic breaks 
    • Hallucinations 
    • Impaired physical coordination 
    • Anxiety 
    • Depression 
    • Paranoia 
    • Aggression
    • Irritability 

    The Effects On The Body

    Drug abuse often causes a myriad of physical health conditions that affect a person’s ability to function. Whether it’s chronic fatigue, a weakened immune system, fibromyalgia, or more serious health issues related to the function of the liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs, substance abuse can have long-term side effects that take years to heal from. If substance abuse has progressed enough to create a physical dependence, a person will have to go through a medically supervised detox to safely stop using drugs or alcohol. Here are a few physical health issues that can occur as a result of drug abuse: 

    • Liver disease 
    • Respiratory issues
    • Distorted vision
    • Nose bleeds 
    • Chest pain
    • Fatigue 
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure) 
    • Tachycardia (irregular heart rate) 
    • Stroke
    • Seizure
    • Tremors
    • Dry mouth 
    • Insomnia 
    • Weight loss
    • Birth defects in children 
    • Heart attack
    • Tooth decay
    • Sexual disfunction

    The Effects On The Soul

    When a person is abusing drugs and becomes physically or psychologically impaired, they can’t be themselves, feel true joy, or live a life that is meaningful to them. An addiction is a clear sign that a person is trying to avoid, numb, or medicate deep emotional or psychic pain from their past. Drug abuse wreaks havoc on people’s personal lives, relationships, and wellbeing, even if the conscious intention behind using drugs was positive in nature. People who are actively using often report that they feel broken and ashamed, but they don’t know how to stop despite their best efforts and desire for a better life. To heal for real from an addiction, this deep emotional pain must be addressed. Some spiritual side effects of drug use include: 

    • Disconnection from self and others
    • Lack of a connection to a Higher Power
    • Feelings of shame 
    • Feeling lost and purposeless
    • Despair 
    • Powerlessness 
    • Loneliness 
    • Apathy 
    • Suicidal feelings 

    How We Can Help You

    At Nestled Recovery, we have a unique holistic approach to drug addiction treatment. Although there are many treatment facilities in Las Vegas, our treatment and recovery process considers a person as a whole: mind, body, and spirit. We provide trauma-informed care and mindfulness techniques, using the eight dimensions of wellness to guide people through their healing journeys. We understand that people struggling with a substance use disorder often have a dual diagnosis of a mental health condition alongside their addiction, which is why we offer a range of psychotherapies and experiential therapies that can address these more complex situations. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact us today. 

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