How Do Drugs Affect Our Body And Mind?
Man is subject to many problems through life. Unfortunately, many people take the wrong way while searching for a solution — substance abuse. There are many forms of drugs which we have come to use as a human population. The most common of these is alcohol, but there are other forms such as Hallucinogens (drugs that cause hallucinations), Opiates (based on morphine, usually with a pain-killing side effect), Barbiturates (sleep inducing and sedative drugs) and Inhalants (any drug that is taken by making it a solvent and then vaporising it).
Drug abuse has varied effects on different people; it is characterised by a large number of factors, such as a person’s age, sex, genetics, mental health, individual physiology, amount of drug used, the potency of the drug and whether it was used after mixing with any other mind-altering substance. Drugs can affect a person’s energy levels, perception, moods and thinking patterns. Let us look at a few effects drugs can have on our body and mind.
What is the damage drugs can do to your body?
- Alcohol can cause slurred speech, uncontrollable eye movements and, in extreme cases, coma. While lower levels of alcohol intoxication are likely to result in sociability and euphoria, higher levels can result in low pulse and breathing rate. Long term damage includes Cirrhosis, Liver cancer, Pancreatitis and Stroke.
- Hallucinogens cause the pupils to dilate and the heart rate to go up. They create heart palpitations, excessive sweating, blurred vision and impaired motor control. Long term abuse leads to sleep problems, white matter damage in the brain and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) that leads to visual impairments.
- Opiates and Barbiturates can cause intravenous damage, sexual dysfunction, irregular menses in women, severe constipation and other gastrointestinal conditions. Inhalants can cause liver damage, kidney damage, limb spasms and tuberculosis.
What damage can drugs do to your mind:
- Alcohol can cause mood swings, trouble in concentration, memory problems and impaired judgement. Long term damage can lead to thoughts of suicide. Though alcohol use is very widespread and is linked with many cultural, religious and social events, it is detrimental to mental health. Even recreational use is just a doorway to becoming a compulsive drinker and, thus, it is best left untouched.
- True to their name, Hallucinogens cause hallucinations, synesthesia or the mixing of sense, anxiety, depression and intensified perceptions. There is a reason why intoxication through Hallucinogens is referred to as a “trip”. The user has to “come back” and when they do, it is hard to deal with reality.
- Opiates, which include painkillers, give rise to euphoria followed by apathy, dysphoria (unease), attention problems, memory impairments and coma.
- Barbiturates and Inhalants cause mood swings, poor judgement, cognitive dysfunction, apathy, lethargy and poor judgement.
As can be seen clearly, any form of substance abuse in any dosage is not at all healthy for the body and mind. Though people climb onto the drugs bandwagon out of curiosity, they stay there due to addiction and social habits/peer pressure. That is why it is important to seek out rehab and counselling at the earliest so as to avoid falling into the dangerous pitfalls of drug abuse. If you or a loved one is suffering from any form of drug abuse, please approach your nearest counsellor at the earliest.