Menu Close

Common Medical Problems That Come With Addiction

woman thinking about common medical problems that come with addiction

Addiction is a major issue with startling effects on health. It causes severe psychological and physical problems, both short-term and long-term. Some can be fatal. The list of issues seems endless, but knowing these facts is crucial for addicts. Understanding the diseases caused by drugs and alcohol can help you make safer choices and avoid serious medical problems. Learn about treatment options and improve your well-being. The following information provides essential info for addicted individuals. For more about addiction programs, call us today at 888.483.6031.

Physical Effects of Drug Addiction

The physical effects of drug abuse are massive. They vary widely for each addict. Some of these are caused by drug use. Other effects are caused by withdrawal. You don’t have to be a long-term addicted individual to suffer the effects. Common physical problems include:

  • Weight loss
  • Irregular heart rate (slower or faster than normal)
  • Heart attack
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems
  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Lung damage

As you can see, these medical problems vary greatly. Some of them are very short-term. Others can lead to chronic and terminal illness.

Psychological Effects of Drug Addiction

There are many psychological medical problems that addicted individuals face. These problems are caused by drug use and drug withdrawal. It’s possible to treat some of them. Others go away over time. Some of them persist over time. These are some of the most common medical problems:

  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Impaired judgment
  • Memory loss (blackouts)
  • Distorted thoughts
  • Distorted perception
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Flashbacks

The psychological effects that happen depend on many factors. A big factor is what type of drug is used. Frequency of drug use is another large factor. No matter what, every single addict is at risk. The emotional effects of substance abuse can’t be avoided. That’s one reason that drug abuse treatment is needed.

Mental Health Disorders Related to Addiction

Psychological effects can turn into serious mental health problems. Drug abuse can lead to mental illness. Mental illness can lead to drug abuse, too. This may be because drugs and mental illness affect the same parts of the brain. Regardless, the disorders can be quite serious. Here are some mental health problems related to addiction:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Dementia

This list may seem overwhelming. It’s scary to think about having these illnesses. But there is a unique treatment option for addicts with mental disorders. Co-occurring disorder treatment focuses on addiction and mental health. Getting treatment for both problems is crucial for recovery. Fortunately, co-occurring disorder treatment is readily available.

Terminal Illness Related to Addiction

Many addicts don’t seek treatment until it’s too late. Chronic substance abuse can lead to terminal illnesses. For example, alcohol can cause Hepatitis C, a potentially fatal liver disease. Alcohol is also linked to seven types of cancer. Injecting drugs with contaminated needles can result in HIV, which can progress to AIDS if untreated.

Heart disease and heart attacks can be attributed to addiction, and they can be fatal. Marijuana use can lead to lung damage, disease, and increased heart rate, which can also be fatal. Drugs can be laced with unknown substances, such as Fentanyl in heroin, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Illicit drugs are not regulated, making it impossible to know if you’re taking a potentially fatal substance. Addiction treatment is the only way to prevent these medical problems.

Does Drug Addiction Affect Family Health?

There are many effects of drug abuse on families. This is outside of diseases caused by drugs. You may be surprised to learn that family health can be affected by addiction. Medical problems are not uncommon for relatives of addicts. Some examples of effects on the family are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress-related illness (heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, digestive problems, obesity)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Physical injuries from violence
  • Anger problems
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Miscarriage in pregnant women
  • Damage to unborn children in pregnant women

People addicted to drugs may believe they’re only hurting themselves. This is rarely true. Parents, children, spouses, and other loved ones can all suffer the effects. These medical problems can cause lifelong problems for families of addicts. Some of them can even result in death. That may be scary to think about. But the causes and effects of drug addiction are a sad reality.

Treatment Options For Addicted Individuals

It’s possible to treat illnesses and diseases caused by drugs. Prevention of drug abuse is an important part of this. Getting treatment for addiction is a great solution for drug addiction. There are several different treatment options available. Each one has unique benefits. Below, you can learn about some of them:

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves placement in hospitals or rehab centers for short or long-term care. It benefits addicts with severe medical issues, such as psychosis that may pose a risk to themselves or others. Inpatient treatment is a valuable tool, but not suitable for everyone. It should be followed by outpatient treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Many addicts benefit from intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for addiction treatment. IOP offers various approaches, including group and individual counseling, life skills development, job assistance, and more. Unlike medication-based treatment, IOP provides structure and accountability, requiring attendance at all appointments. It allows addicted individuals to establish healthy routines while maintaining their freedom to work, attend school, and spend time with family.

Medication-Based Treatment

Medication-based treatment has many pros and cons. This treatment includes methadone and suboxone dispensed at clinics. These meds help with opiate addiction. In some cases, this type of treatment works. But methadone and Suboxone can be dangerous. Addicted individuals can become addicted to methadone. People can also abuse Suboxone. That makes these options a risk.

Get Help Today From Northpoint Seattle

Our treatment center welcomes all types of people. Our goal is to assist addicted people in need. You can feel confident that you’re in good hands. Now that you’ve got all of the info above, it’s time to move forward. You’ll experience respect and kindness as you get sober. Call us today at 888.483.6031 or use the Northpoint Seattle online contact form to begin your recovery.