Several Different Reasons
There are several ways that substance abuse can impact the life of the individual with the addiction and those around them. Most of the effects are temporary and can be resolved along with seeking treatment, but there are certainly some effects of drug and alcohol abuse that could be long-lasting or even permanent.
That’s why it’s better to seek help sooner than later.
First, and most obviously, is the fact that one in four deaths in the United States is related to drug or alcohol abuse. That’s a pretty permanent effect. For those who are fortunate to avoid this fate, there is still a slew of potential long-lasting effects in all areas of life. Here are just a few of the permanent effects of substance abuse to consider.
- Diseases and conditions like heart disease, kidney failure, liver disease or failure, brain damage, seizure disorders, lung cancer and COPD, and other diseases or disorders that can be treated, but rarely cured.
- Mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, which can be made worse or brought on by substance abuse and become lifelong conditions.
- Loss of jobs or professional status that can impact the life of a career.
- Loss of relationships, including divorce and/or estrangement from spouses, children, and family.
- Impaired memory and cognitive function, often for life because brain cells die and that results in permanent damage that cannot be repaired.
- Legal issues or criminal charges that can create a lasting criminal record, including domestic disputes, addiction-related theft or burglary, sexual offenses, and more.
This is just a glimpse of the ways that drug and alcohol abuse can leave a lasting impression on people’s lives. It’s no wonder there is such a stigma attached to addiction with all of these potential risks. Some are less severe or more manageable, but they are all permanent and will be something that people have to learn to live with.
The longer that substance abuse goes untreated, the more likely it is that these effects will be seen. Recovery centers and substance abuse treatment solutions are popping up all over the place, making it easier than ever for people to find the help that they need. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of those resources and get help for yourself or your loved one now before it’s too late. It’s not an easy step, but it’s easier than the alternative.