The negative association of being an addict is commonly understood. But knowing addiction is bad is just the first step. Because it’s not always easy to figure out why being addicted to drugs or alcohol can have a negative impact. The stigma attached to the word addict is often intimidating enough to know that it’s a bad thing, but without knowing exactly what goes on in the life of an addict, it’s hard to understand.
The dark side of addiction can affect addicts and those closest to them in three main ways; their health, their relationships, and their life overall. And it’s being able to understand these three elements that can either help you to help a loved one or even help yourself. Although medical treatment at a specialist center, like The Recovery Village, is often the only way that an addict can make a change, understanding the negative impacts of addition can help; at the very least to make steps in the right direction.
The science behind drug and alcohol use is based heavily on chemicals and the reactions that take place in the body. It’s these reactions that can lead to the health, social and wider issues experienced by an addict.
How It Harms Your Health
These chemical reactions can harm an addict’s health in two main ways. The first relates to the brain and tolerance. Whether an addict is struggling to cope with either a drug or alcohol dependency, their body will still be working to build up a tolerance. To deal with the substance taken, the body will start to become tolerant to it. Therefore, an addict then has to take more and more of said substance to reach the high they’ve been chasing. As they build up more of a tolerance, the effects on the body become lethal.
Then comes the harm to the mind and body overall. The heart is one of the first organs that can suffer, and an addict will be at a higher risk of heart disease due to their drug or alcohol abuse. However, it’s important to recognize how both the liver and kidneys become affected too. Both suffer damage over time, meaning the body is less likely to cope with the substances, and organ failure can occur.
The Impact On Relationships
Although an addict’s mind and body can suffer severely from drug or alcohol abuse, their social health can suffer immensely too. Addiction can affect the family and friends as much as, if not more than, if affects the addict themselves. Family members can get into heated discussions over how best to help the addict, causing rifts between the family overall. The damage an addict is doing to themselves overall is often hard for a family to handle and can harm their emotional health and wellbeing too.
In terms of friendships and social circles, an addiction to drugs or alcohol can result in the loss of friends or even a partner. Friends or a partner can become tired of the lies an addict tells, the excuses them make and offer the requests for money that are common among those that suffer from addiction.
It’s Influence On Your Life
It’s the connection that substance abuse has with finance that can often skyrocket the negative impacts on an addict’s life. A drug or alcohol habit can be costly, especially over time and as the body’s tolerance builds up. Therefore, an addict will spend the majority of their money feeding the habit; often disregarding more important financial commitments like rent and bills. This can put a lot of strain on their quality of life overall.
But that’s not all. Drug or alcohol abuse can also affect employment for an addict. Employers can drug test more regularly these days, and the smell or suspicion of alcohol is enough for an addict to lose their job. Again, an issue like this can then lead to further financial trouble and place a strain on relationships too. When the addict then finds themselves constantly asking for money, the vicious cycle seems impossible to break.
Taking Back Control
At this point, the dark side of addiction can see that the addict tends to put their habit first. This is above their health, their relationships, and anything else in their life. But it doesn’t mean that the habit is unbreakable. The first step is understanding what drug or alcohol abuse can do to the mind, body and the person as a whole. From there, action is needed. By understanding the dark side of addiction, you’ll be one step closer to making it stop.