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The Needle And The Damage Done – A Brief Investigation Into The Proven Damage By Chronic Drug Use


Posted: Mar 12th, 2019 |Comments: 0 | Views: 28

There exists an enormous market related to the global production, distribution and use of mind and mood altering substances – both legal and illegal. Such is the scale of this market that it is impossible to truly quantify the extent of harm which is caused to the human race on a day to day basis.

Here we review the detrimental effects of chronic drug use as proven within controlled environments and discuss other factors which can elevate the level of harm sustained.

Substance  Frequently exhibited detrimental effects (particularly with long term use).
Alcohol  Liver damage, physical dependence, permanent brain damage, anxiety.
Amphetamines Insomnia, mood swings, irritability, panic, paranoia & anxiety, organ damage.
Cocaine  Restlessness, paranoia/anxiety, heart attack & death, dependence, psychosis.
Crack  All those factors caused by cocaine greatly elevated due to intensity of high.
Cannabis Impaired coordination, anxiety, depression, mental dependence.
Ecstasy  Hyperthermia, dehydration, organ failure, anxiety, paranoia, depression.
Heroin  Physical dependence, overdose & death, inability to experience pleasure.
LSD  Permanent changes to brain chemistry / psychological damage.

Pharmaceuticals Dependency & tolerance, severe withdrawal symptoms, overdose & death
Steroids. Heart attack and liver problems, psychosis, tissue damage.

All of the above negative effects have been observed as a result of controlled experimentation using the specific substances outlined above. The list is by no means exhaustive.

There is no disputing that these symptoms do not illustrate the true extent of possible damage whilst, conversely, many people appear to be able to use without experiencing negative side effects. However, chronic use of any of the substances referenced above can have severe mental and physical side effects, many of which are irreversible.

A number of additional factors must be taken into account when considering the potential and scope for inflicting such irreversible damage.

    • Frequency and quantity of use including cumulative damage from long term, excessive use – toxicity.

    • Purity of drug used – where cutting agents are present it becomes impossible to accurately assess exactly what is being ingested and possible associated harm.

    • The Route of Administration (ROA) – smoking, injecting, snorting – all incur physical damage especially with repeated use. Intravenous Injection (IV) has the highest level of associated risk.

    • IV administration of a substance directly into the bloodstream bypasses our natural defence system (the skin) and can introduce any toxins directly to the heart and or brain.

    • IV administration massively elevates the scope for life threatening blood-stream infections.

    • Administering via IV injection means that the Bio-Availability is 100% and the entire dose is received at once. The risk of overdose is therefore greatly increased.

    • This is in addition to localised damage due to lack of sterility or use of dirty ‘works’ leading to abscesses.

    • Snorting a powdered drug causes direct damage to the nasal cavity including the delicate septum.

    • As with IV administration, snorting a drug of unknown potency can easily result in unintentional overdose and death.

    • Inhalation of any smoke causes damage at some level; the chemicals used in the production of crack cocaine and methamphetamine are proven to be highly damaging to lung tissue and can cause afflictions including COPD.

    • Associated lack of self-care – being dehydrated / malnourished, poor sleep patterns / sleep deprivation will all take an undeniable toll and tend to go hand in hand with drug abuse; particularly physical dependence where ones priorities shift to cater for the need to satisfy cravings.

    • There is little argument that prolonged use of any substance can lead to mental and or physical dependence. When an individual requires a substance to operate their priorities will change. Thus effecting relationships with family and friends; an inability to be relied upon which can be particularly evident in their place of work. This is regularly referred to as the ripple effect.

    • Tolerance – with ongoing substance abuse a greater quantity of a drug is required to achieve the same effect. Not only does this inflict a higher degree of strain upon the body and mind, it also elevates the cost of using drastically. What may once have been an ‘affordable habit’ can become prohibitively expensive leading a user to resort to more and more extreme behaviours to help fund their drug use.

    • In the case of illegal substances there is no monitoring or quality control present at any stage in the production process. As has been witnessed in the case of ecstasy tablets there can be a huge variation in potency and likewise, ingredients other than MDMA can be present without the users’ prior knowledge.

    • Poly-drug use: Whilst each and every substance investigated and referenced within this report has been proven to inflict a level of damage upon a long-term user, there is no doubt that combining two or more substances to achieve a greater effect further elevates all associated risks of using.
Whether it is indeed possible to use drugs recreationally without inflicting extensive physical and mental damage is a long discussed topic.

One can easily provide points for discussion in regard to measuring damage against benefit when it comes to use of illicit drugs.

    • The student who relies upon Adderall (Amphetamine) to study long hours and excel in exams.

    • The sales executive who uses a Benzodiazepine to aid restful sleep but their use extends to consumption by day to alleviate nerves when making outbound sales calls.

    • A trader reliant on cocaine to remain ‘sharp’ whilst investing other people’s money in volatile international markets.

At what point can it truly be said that such use is detrimental – perhaps only once it is too late …?
One fact which is truly indisputable is that there is one way to guarantee the avoidance of damaging effects from drug use, and that is complete abstinence.

Do you or someone close to you require assistance? Substance Rehabilitation Ltd. provides a confidential and professional referral service – we can quickly and effectively facilitate entry to a formal treatment facility and address the problem before another life is lost to addiction and dependence.

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