5 Side Effects of Substance Abuse That May Surprise You

Substance abuse has many negative effects on people and society, but some of these side effects may be less well known than others. For example, alcohol, tobacco, and other substance abuse has been associated with increased risk of cancer, heart disease, liver failure and even death in some cases. Yet there are also more subtle effects of substance abuse that may surprise you. From lack of motivation to depression to cognitive decline, these five side effects of substance abuse may surprise you! Read on to find out more about the lesser-known side effects of substance abuse.

1) Physical cravings

For most people who struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, there’s no doubt that they’re physically dependent. However, there are some physical side effects that aren’t so obvious when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse. Your body will experience physical reactions to a substance abuse problem, as can other parts of your life—some you may not have expected. If you suspect someone you love is experiencing these side effects, it’s important to take action immediately. Not only could your loved one’s life be at risk, but those around them might be in danger as well. This is especially true if drugs or alcohol are being abused while driving a car or operating heavy machinery.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 8 percent of fatal traffic accidents involve an intoxicated driver. Don’t let yourself or anyone else become a statistic; get help for yourself or your loved one before it’s too late.

2)Mental craving

The desire to take drugs isn’t just a physical feeling. If you’re an alcoholic, you might start thinking that people in your life aren’t as smart or funny if they don’t drink—or if they don’t drink in exactly the way you do. People with marijuana addictions often obsess over how and when they can get high again. And it goes on and on—it could be any drug, and it could be in any area of your life. But it’s important to remember: These thoughts are symptoms of addiction, not evidence that your life is lacking something. In fact, quite the opposite may be true. People who have substance-abuse problems typically have higher levels of anxiety and depression than those who don’t, says Erika Rosenberg, MD, a psychiatrist at NYU Langone Medical Center. They tend to have lower self-esteem and more interpersonal problems—and all of these things may lead them to seek out substances because they think it will help them cope better. It rarely does; instead, it makes things worse.

3) Stress on relationships

It’s easy to think that abusing substances doesn’t affect relationships, but it almost always does. The euphoria and bliss associated with drug use can hide problems with loved ones, but these feelings are temporary—and any trust built during that time will likely be broken when reality sets in. Even if you manage to keep a relationship together while under the influence, there’s a high chance it won’t survive after you sober up. If your partner is using drugs, you need to address the issue immediately before it gets out of hand. If they refuse help, consider ending things before they get worse—and don’t feel guilty about doing so; substance abuse is self-destructive behavior that needs professional intervention. In many cases, people who suffer from addiction have an underlying mental health problem like depression or anxiety that contributes to their issues with drugs or alcohol. As such, many addicts also benefit from therapy or other behavioral treatments—so look into these options as well if your partner is resistant to treatment programs.

4) Risky behavior

When people are drunk or high, they’re more likely to make risky decisions. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to be aware of how drug and alcohol use can affect your judgment. The following behaviors may surprise you—but remember that recovering from addiction doesn’t have to be difficult: If you need help coping with substance abuse and want support from a treatment center in Florida, contact us today at [insert phone number here]! We’ll walk you through each step and answer all your questions about rehab for substance abuse. Another consequence of drug or alcohol use is its potential impact on relationships with loved ones. Friends, family members, co-workers, classmates—they all might notice behavioral changes related to intoxication as well as changes brought on by withdrawing from substances (such as depression). This might lead them to avoid spending time around those who are abusing drugs or alcohol.

5) Social withdrawal

If you find yourself withdrawing from your friends, family and other relationships—not because you don’t want to see them, but because you feel like you’re incapable of handling any type of communication—substance abuse may be interfering with your life. Social withdrawal is often a telltale sign that a person is becoming addicted to his or her substance(s) of choice. Be sure to reach out for help if you find that you’ve become more withdrawn than usual! Title: How Does Alcohol Affect Your Body? Harmful effects on body: When people think about alcohol abuse, they often only consider what it does to their mind and social lives; however, there are many physical consequences associated with abusing alcohol as well. In fact, heavy drinking can negatively affect nearly every part of your body. For example, long-term alcohol abuse has been linked to serious liver damage, sexual dysfunction (including impotence in men), gastrointestinal problems (including ulcers and hemorrhoids), pancreatitis, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. These side effects alone should be enough motivation for anyone who’s struggling with an addiction to seek professional treatment.


Like any other decision in life, there are both positive and negative consequences to using drugs. If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, help is available. Contact HelpGuide’s helpline or visit their web page for more information on treatment options. Remember: There’s no shame in asking for help—it’s better to get involved early than never at all. Everyone deserves a second chance—and there’s help if you need it.



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