Understanding the effects of substance misuse

Understanding the effects of substance misuse

If you have a problem with drug abuse or alcohol addiction , you will have experienced the many ways addiction can negatively impact your life. And if you are thinking about specialist treatment to overcome your struggles with substance misuse, you have probably experienced a worsening of the negative factors that tend to accumulate and exasperate when a person is addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs.

While each person’s experience with addiction is different, there are certain types of mental and physical symptoms of substance misuse that are important to understand. Of course, these symptoms will vary depending on your substance(s) of choice, how long you have been misusing the substance and your overall mental and physical health.

Certain drugs impact the mind and body differently than others, but regardless of your substance of choice, addiction will impact your life in negative ways and symptoms will worsen over time if effective treatment is not sought.

As you consider seeking help for yourself or a loved one, you may benefit from learning more about the various ways certain substances can take their toll on the mind and body.

The following lists briefly describe some of the more common outcomes of substance misuse, but keep in mind that your experience may differ depending on your behaviour and circumstances.

Physical symptoms:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Unintended weight gain or loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sinus issues or watery eyes
  • Digestive concerns
  • Skin rashes or breakouts
  • Dental decay
  • Heart and/or circulation problems
  • Organ damage or failure

Mental symptoms:

  • Poor decision-making abilities
  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Powerful cravings for your substance of choice

The effects of substance misuse can manifest in many different ways depending on the individual. However, damages to the mind and body only account for a fraction of the ways that addiction can rob you of your health and well-being.

When your substance of choice becomes your obsession, you will be unable to prioritise the things that were once important to you in the same way. Addiction can get in the way of success at work or at college/university, and can make it impossible to maintain healthy relationships with the people you care about. And sometimes, drug misuse can result in financial hardship and legal problems, depending on the substance involved.

Sadly, social isolation can develop quickly as drugs or alcohol become more important than anything else. When this occurs, and you sever ties with close friends or family members, you’ll face the loss of the important support system that you may need to overcome your addiction.

Breaking the cycle

In spite of all the negative outcomes that addiction is known to cause, help is available to help you break unhealthy patterns of behaviour and return to a substance-free life.

By choosing to engage in a professional treatment at Priory, you can rid your body and mind of dangerous substances, and access the personalised care you need to reduce and improve the damaging cycle of substance misuse.

For more details on the full range of Priory Services, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to make an enquiry.

Tags: Addiction