Drug abuse can result in serious behavioral and emotional changes that ultimately destroy a person's life. The negative effects from drug abuse can have immediate and long-term consequences. Careers have been ruined and families have been devastated because of drug abuse. Physical harm or death can result from drug abuse because of reckless behavior by the drug abuser.
Most drugs affect the brain by interfering with neurotransmitters or chemical messengers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug use can overflow the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved with emotion, movement and pleasurable effects. The brain becomes used to the surges in dopamine from drug abuse and produces less of the chemical. The drug abuser needs larger amounts of the drug to bring the feelings from dopamine back to normal. Long-term drug abuse changes areas in the brain that affect behavior, judgment, learning and memory. The reasoning and thought processing abilities of the drug abuser become severely damaged.
Drug abusers often neglect responsibilities because of fascination or obsession with taking drugs. Performance on the job or at school can suffer significantly, leading to job loss or dropping out of school. Drug abuse leads to a disruption and problems in family, relationships and friendships because of changes in behavior or arguments. Some drug abusers endanger their children because of neglectful action, including leaving them at home alone for long hours.
People who abuse drugs lose control and put themselves in dangerous situations. They take hazardous risks, such as driving under the influence and having unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. Their carelessness can lead to getting involved in violent situations either as a victim or assailant. Disorderly behavior from drug abuse or stealing to buy drugs can lead to arrests.
Street Drug Dangers
Street drugs can produce short-term and long-term dangers. Amphetamines provide users with a feeling of energy and power, but the drugs increase the heart rate, breathing and blood pressure, TeenDrugAbuse.us points out. Blurred vision, headaches, shaking, sweating and sleeping problems may also occur. Hallucinations or intense paranoia can result from long-term use. Cocaine, a highly addictive drug, also raises heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rates and body temperature. Cocaine and crack cocaine cause dramatic physical and emotional cravings. Mood swings from using marijuana range from feeling stimulated and happy to being tired and depressed. Long-term use can cause the same effects as smoking tobacco, including coughing, wheezing and frequent respiratory problems.
Some people abuse cold and cough medicines for a temporary intoxicating effect. However, large doses can lead to confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, nausea, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, confusion, hallucinations, loss of consciousness and brain damage. Inhalants include household products such as glues, paint thinners, cleaning fluids, gasoline and aerosol sprays. They make people feel temporarily intoxicated, but abuse can cause loss of hearing and sense of smell as well as severe toxic reactions and death.