Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? Substance dependence swings both ways that destroys a person, resulting in non-function or criminal behavior.

Some of the primary effects of drugs occur in the brain, altering brain functions to handle and adapt to the copious amounts of dopamine (“pleasure” chemical) and serotonin (“mood regulator”).

Repetitive intakes cause health problems, including illnesses that may lead to death as well as psychological effects promoting high tolerance to drugs. It’s a toxic cycle: anytime the user encounters stress or pain, they get “cravings” for the drugs in order to function or respond to life.

Drug addiction also manifests in bodily functions. Some of the unhealthy effects of drugs on the body include:

1. Brain damage. Addictive drugs go straight to the brain to perform its euphoric effects. While induced-highs serve as temporary relief to fight stress, dopamine overdose can become toxic to the brain cells — hijacking multiple brain circuits that regulate decision-making, impulse, reward and learning centers, among others.

2. High blood pressure and cardiac problems. Drugs vary in intensity and destructive results in our wellness. Amphetamines, especially “glamorous” drugs such as cocaine and heroin, at least require the subject of addiction to handle its harmful to lethal effects including cardiac problems. High blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, irregular heartbeats and heart attacks are some of the deadliest outcomes of collapsed veins and bacterial infections in the vessels and valves.

3. Respiratory and lung infections. Cigarettes are the gateway to more damaging substances that bring further complications in the respiratory system. Slowness of breathing, asthmatic reactions and air blockage are some of the initial symptoms of respiratory infections. Drug inhalants, like cannabis and smoke cocaine, contain addictive chemicals such as nicotine that cause bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer.

4. Vomiting and indigestion. As most drugs are processed in the body (meaning the drugs DO go in the digestive system), the mucous membrane lining will begin to deteriorate. Once this lining is infected, the intestine and stomach walls become vulnerable to damage and digestive illnesses like ulcer and gastrointestinal perforation. Peristalsis, the process of breaking down food in the mucous membrane lining, is likely to under perform resulting in nausea and vomiting. Dehydration is another side effect to look out for as water and saliva are essential to peristalsis. Decline in saliva production depreciates the entire gastrointestinal process.

5. Kidney and liver disease. After the breakdown of drug chemicals during digestion, the majority of them are sent out of the body by our immune system organs. The kidneys and liver, its most sensitive parts, do not have the ability to limit the amount of chemicals going in and out of the body, especially when some of these substances can directly affect and poison the defense system to the point of shutting down. Amphetamine, meth and ecstasy also retain urination, bowel movement and blood flow to the liver that lead to chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis).

6. HIV/AIDS. Drugs are best known to be discovered by an individual through their peers or immediate relative. Thus, substance use increases the risk of viral infections because some viruses spread through blood or body fluids. This submission is possible in two ways: sharing and injecting drugs by the needle or a similar equipment and intimate contact such as kissing and unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner. The toxic effects of drugs have harmful impacts on the existing viral infection, upping the dangers of the individual’s health and mortality.

The effects of drug addiction create dents in all aspects of the person’s well-being, in which, each are derivative to his path to self-destruction. But there are a number of ways for them to get treated, starting with proper diagnosis. To know more about drug prevention and addiction treatment, you can visit us at www.manilamed.com.ph.