What are the dangers of drug abuse? Substance abuse behavior is accompanied by many dangers that include physical, emotional, legal, financial, relational and medical consequences. Dangers of drug abuse are common long before addiction develops in the substance-abusing individual. Once addiction does develop, and often even before this occurs, substance abusers continue to abuse substances in spite of the negative consequences and obvious signs of danger related to their behavior.
According to NIDA, the dangers of drug abuse costs individuals and agencies billions annually in substance-abuse-related health expense. Alcohol, nicotine and prescription drugs, though legal, are not without health risks. Overuse of alcohol gradually destroys the liver, and cigarette smoke is believed to be one of the greatest risk factors involved in preventable heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Prescription drugs, such as alcohol, are central nervous system depressants that eventually cause problems with the liver and other vital organs if overused. In illegal, central-nervous-system depressants such as heroin, death by overdose is common, as well as AIDS positive status through intravenous drug use and high risk sexual behavior.
The dangers of drug abuse pertaining to stimulate drugs cause rapid weight loss, rotted teeth and gum disease and put the user in danger of cardiac arrest by causing the heart to pump faster than it was designed to do. Marijuana cigarettes, such as cigarettes containing nicotine, include many poisonous forms of tar and destructive gases in their smoke capable of causing lung disease and cancer in users. Since drugs of abuse tend to create addiction in users, the possibility of using the drugs long enough and often enough for the above health problems to develop is great.
Other dangers of drug abuse often include legal problems. Legal issues are involved in substance-abuse situations because substance abusers take dangerous risks with their own lives as well as the lives of others. Driving under the influence is a dangerous consequence of alcohol abuse as well as abuse of other drugs. Substance abusers often sell drugs to pay for their own drug use or to earn money from the sale of illegal drugs to others, creating still more substance abuse and increased addiction.
Violent crime and time in jail are additional dangers of drug abuse. Incarceration threatens the quality of the user/drug dealer's life if he is arrested, a quality already compromised by the lifestyle itself. Domestic violence is higher in families in which substance abuse occurs, and, where substance abuse is present, domestic violence tends to be more severe, with more physical injury involved. Legal consequences for substance abuse are in place because the behavior is dangerous, even without the legal consequences involved.
Dangers of drug abuse also include problems in with one’s loved ones; relationships are damaged and destroyed through substance abuse. Substance abuse produces behavior centered on obtaining the drug of choice, in spite of consequences to family members, friends or acquaintances. Trust is destroyed through high-risk sexual behavior, drug-related financial destruction, stealing and selling mutual property in order to purchase drugs; lying is common to those who use drugs in order to deny and/or defend their substance use. In the pursuit of euphoria found through drug use and associated behavior, little time or concern is left for loved ones, be they friends, or family members. Children are neglected and abused and some die as victims to meth labs and other abuse.
The dangers of drug abuse also wreck havoc on one’s financial situation; entire bank accounts fall victim to substance addiction and the motivation to have the substance of choice at any cost. Jobs and careers are lost as a consequence of drug using behavior, hours and days of physical absence from the workplace due to substance abuse and loss of productivity while there. Drug dealers often seek out wealthy or successful people as steady customers and have little concern for the financial cost to the addict or his family. Embezzlement of funds is not uncommon in cases where people in positions of power or financial influence or authority become addicted to drugs. Even with minimal substance use, money is wasted that could be better used for more worthwhile purposes. Good money management is not a quality found in substance abusers, or addicted persons.
Lastly, the dangers of drug abuse include severe emotional problems. Emotional dangers of substance abuse include addiction, paranoia, depression, delusions, drug induced psychosis, black outs, short term and long term memory loss, guilt fear, confusion and disillusionment with life due to drug abuse. Suicide and homicide are also consequences of substance abuse for some. People who lie also have trouble trusting others and have to deal with the eventual consequences of their own lies to others.