how substance addiction affects your overall wellness
Health & Wellness Lifestyle

How Substance Addiction Affects Your Overall Wellness

Substance addiction results from recurrent and uncontrollable habits of smoking and excessive drinking. The continuous use of drugs leads to addiction, which affects your overall wellness. The effects can be physical, mental, or emotional. Additionally, the consequences can be short-term or long-term. They vary depending on the substances you’ve abused.

Here’s an in-depth discussion on how substance addiction affects your overall wellness:

substance addiction affects your overall wellness

Mental Disorders

One effect of substance addiction is mental disorderliness. Long-term effects of abusing drugs lead to memory loss, behavioral change, and lack of concentration and consciousness. If you have a predisposition to psychotic episodes, substance abuse might trigger them.

Within a short time, you’ll start having some mental disorders. It can significantly affect your everyday life. Consequently, it affects your daily life. People with mental disorders require maximum supervision because if you leave them alone, they might hurt themselves.

Additionally, the ability to make conscious decisions is compromised. You might not be able to survive independently. Hence the need to enroll in mental health care facilities. You get assigned a therapist in the facilities who takes care of you. They help you walk through your recovery journey. Before long, you’ll be able to manage your addiction and handle your carvings.

During your sessions, the therapist will help you deal with guilt and accept the situation. You can also get assisted help by enrolling in some institutions and healthcare facilities that have programs for handling substance addicts.

The programs can be customized to deal with your situation and help you gain cognitive abilities. For instance, Alvarado Parkway Institute and similar counseling groups have programs to walk you through recovery.

When handling substance addicts, the environment is helpful for the recovery journey. For one, you get to manage the withdrawal symptoms, and you can also overcome your cravings once you get used to the environment.

Weakened Immune System

One of the effects of substance addiction is a weakened immune system. Drugs can affect your physical health, affecting most human organs. They could lead to organ failures that warrant transplants. Most drugs contain some harmful ingredients that result in a weak immune system. It makes you prone to contracting several illnesses. Your body is deprived of its ability to fight infections and diseases. Here are some of the substances and their effects on your immune system:

  • Alcohol: It contains intoxicating ingredients that severely affect vital body organs. Being a depressant, it slows down the body’s system. It’s hard for the body to process and causes a strain on the digestive system. You might get stomach ulcers. It also harms your internal organs, such as the liver. Your liver can only oxidize a drink in an hour. If you go for the whole bottle, you’ll strain the liver, developing liver cirrhosis.
  • Cannabis: It’s a strong stimulant that can result in several health effects when abused. For instance, you’ll lose your sense of smell and death of bowel tissue from decreased blood flow. You’ll also experience severe migraines. Prolonged smoking can result in lung cancer. It also leads to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
  • Tobacco: It’s a highly addictive substance found in the tobacco plant. Long-term effects of nicotine abuse result in declining cognitive abilities such as critical thinking, emotional intelligence, communication, logic, and reasoning.
  • Prescription opioids: They’re used as painkillers. Prolonged use of opioids can lead to physical dependence. You might not function normally without it. Some other severe effects include shivering and shaking profusely.
  • Hallucinogens: They can be used as prescription drugs. However, substance addicts may suffer some severe effects if they take overdose. Some impacts of abusing hallucinogens include dilated pupils, muscle weakness, nausea, and vomiting.

These are just some of the commonly abused drugs and their effects. They all have some vast and severe impact on your immunity.

Some short-term effects, such as headaches, develop into long-term effects like migraines. You might spend most of your time in the hospital since most of the effects are recurring. Alternatively, you can enroll in a recovery or rehabilitation facility. With maximum observation, it’s possible to treat some of the conditions.


Substance abuse is the leading cause of depression. Some commonly abused drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, contain biochemical effects. These effects could trigger depression and anxiety.

Depression can negatively impact the life of an addicted person. For instance, if they were social and could interact with others, they’ll withdraw and isolate themselves. Some behaviors, such as missing classes and group meetings, could be warning signs of depression.

Also, substance abusers could get depressed if their life takes a toll on them. During their induction stage, they’ll take drugs for fun. However, when the effects kick in, and they get addicted, drugs become a survival mechanism.

They might catch on to some habits of spending all their money on drugs. If they run out of cash, they’ll do anything, including stealing, to get the money for their drugs. Such action leads to serious repercussions if they get caught.

Also, note that not most of them are open about their drug addiction problem. Young people, for instance, hide the drugs and use them secretly. When the effects start weighing on them, their secret is discovered. They get exposed to their parents. The parents may strongly rebuke them before coming to terms with their actions. The embarrassment sends most of them into depression.

Without assistance, they might sink further into depression. They isolate and withdraw from their friends by spending most of their time locked up in their rooms. If no one checks on them, they will be crowded with thoughts of committing suicide.

As such, depression is common for substance and drug abusers, and they need help dealing with it. Therapy and counseling sessions are excellent considerations. Additionally, group meetings could help them cope with the situation. Seeing those who have overcome the addiction problem do well in life encourages them to soldier on and avoid a relapse.

Dental Problems

Substance abuse involves the intake of drugs through the mouth or injections. In most cases, you either drink or smoke. Since they pass through your mouth, you might have some dental problems. For instance, alcohol may cause periodontal diseases such as tooth decay, tooth loss, and mouth sores. Tooth loss comes as a result of high plaque levels.

Bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar content found in alcohol, thus contributing to tooth decay. The bacteria activates acids that fasten the decaying process—the combination of tooth decay and alcohol results in bad breath.

Additionally, alcohol dries out your mouth. One common symptom of alcoholics is dry and cracked lips. Saliva plays a vital role in oral health. Suppose you have a dry mouth. The risk of tooth decay increases. It also adds to the weakening of the enamel.

To add to that, alcohol stains your teeth. The stains result in discolored teeth, which might lower your self-esteem. Stains in alcohol come from chromogens present in several alcoholic drinks. Remember, alcohol contains acids that compromise the enamel hence the discoloration of your teeth.


Injecting drugs increases the risk of infections. For instance, if you’re sharing the syringes, it could result in the spread of infectious diseases. Some of the most common infections among substance addicts include HIV, Hepatitis, and skin infections. If one of you has a skin infection, it can be easily transmitted to others within the circle.

When taking drugs, body fluids such as saliva and blood could be transferred from one person to another. Sharing smoking gadgets could facilitate saliva transfer, while needles and syringes facilitate the transfer of blood.

On the other hand, substance addiction can impair your ability to make sound decisions. Although the drugs aren’t directly responsible for causing the diseases, they can facilitate the spread of infections.

When one is under the influence, it’s possible to indulge in sexual intercourse. At the moment, one would not consider using protection. Some people would also not care about having sex with multiple partners. These situations increase the chances of contracting the infections and spreading them easily.


Substance and drug abuse could significantly affect your sleep time and quality. Acute drug abuse indulgence can result in poor sleeping habits. Especially if you’ve started your recovery journey, the cravings make it hard for you to get quality sleep.

Lack of enough sleep could interfere with your ability to remember and enhance memory loss. You could also have some cognitive dysfunction. If you’ve been taking substances rich in dopamine, you could become a victim of sleep deprivation. It’s strong and usually makes you stay alert, thus interfering with the sleep cycle. Most common mental health disorders are associated with a lack of sleep. Additionally, depression and stress contribute to a lack of sleep.

As such, substance addiction can negatively affect your sleep time since it affects your brain. You might also get insomnia and lack of concentration. You find yourself dozing off at odd hours and struggling to stay alert when you’re not engaged.


There’s no doubt substance addiction severely affects your overall wellness. Luckily, most of the conditions attributed to substance abuse can be treated. If the effects haven’t become severe, your therapist can use some programs to keep you in check. You might also need some medication to help you deal with some of the side effects of abstinence. If you start on your recovery, sticking to the treatment plan saves the day.

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