The consequences of drug abuse are events that may occur through out an individual’s addiction. They can affect the body, the mind and the spirit, ranging from small to large to the ultimate consequence- death. Drug abuse can take someone to places no one thought they would go and cause them to do things they swore they’d never do.
For many individuals suffering from addiction, the first time consequences may appear somewhat minimal. The person abusing drugs may become more dishonest, usually about what they are doing, whom they are with or why they are acting differently. Dishonesty, in any form, is a serious consequence of drug abuse, and one of the most long-term, because it creates mistrust on many levels for the family and loved ones of the individual who is using. Rebuilding that trust can be a life long process for some families.
Addiction Can Cause a Person to Suffer Psychological and Emotional Consequences
Some consequences of drug abuse will be noticeable to the observer. That person may show signs of depression and anxiety or extreme mood swings with highs and lows that change suddenly. Self-harm or violent behavior towards others is not uncommon in a person suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction.
Addiction Can Cause Physical Consequences as Well
In addition to the psychological effects, there are several physical consequences of drug abuse from which the addict may suffer. These physical consequences, such as overdosing or going through drug or alcohol withdrawal, may result in the individual going to the hospital or entering a residential drug treatment facility. In some cases, there can be damage to the body by disease or injury. Such damage can be temporary, chronic or fatal. Some examples of these are cirrhosis, pancreatitis, Hepatitis C, infected skin abscesses and HIV.
Social Consequences of Drug Abuse can be the Most Apparent
Perhaps some of the most apparent consequences from drug abuse are those that are suffered socially. The addict may lose his or her job, have difficulty with personal relationships, struggle financially, engage in criminal activity (theft, prostitution, etc.) or experience legal ramifications such as DUIs and drug possession charges.
Watching a loved one experience these consequences of drug abuse, and more, can be especially painful, as well as confusing. To friends and family, the negative reality resulting from an addiction is clear and is a sufficient reason to stop using and seek help. But to the addict who is suffering, the consequences of drug abuse are not so obvious. Many addicts simply accept these experiences as facts of life, while others are stuck in the delusion that things “aren’t that bad” and “it won’t happen again.”
It can be very difficult to help an addict or alcoholic see the danger of their behaviors, so professional or medical interventions are good things to consider. When a person who abuses drugs is finally able to see the truth, it can have a profound effect on their willingness to accept help and seek addiction treatment and recovery for long-term sobriety.