Drug addiction is a condition in which a person is unable to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. It is usually due to the effect of the drug on a person’s brain and subsequent alteration in behavior. Once you are addicted to a particular drug, you will keep using the drug in spite of the negative effects it brings to your body. One of the key points one should remember so that they will not develop drug addiction especially after a surgical procedure or treatment is to limit painkillers. However, since this is very hard to do for most vulnerable people, drug addiction is among the many clinical problems in medicine and surgery.
What factors predispose someone to addiction?
- History of addiction in the family
- A psychological disorder like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Use of or exposure to drugs at an early age
- Peer pressure
- Lack of parental supervision
The most common addictive drugs
- Street methadone
These drugs are not given postsurgery. The ones that are extremely popular medicines abused by patients are painkillers like morphine, hydrocodone, and other types of narcotics, sedatives, depressants, or stimulants that are ones prescribed by a surgeon or physician.
What are some of the adverse effects associated with drug addiction?
Continuous use of a drug is injurious to almost all systems, depending on the type of drug abused. Let’s look at the effects of drug addiction on various body systems.
Cardiovascular system effects
Drug addiction can lead to heart problems ranging from abnormal rates and rhythms to heart failure. This is especially common with cocaine addiction. Besides, those used to injection drugs like heroin may encounter collapsed veins or infections of the blood vessels.
Gastrointestinal system effects
Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pains are frequently encountered. Besides, there is an increased risk of liver failure due to the excesnsive strain placed on the liver in an attempt to eliminate the toxins.
People addicted to drugs have an increased risk of brain damage, cerebrovascular accidents, convulsions, and confusion. Besides, some drugs tend to affect the memory, concentration and decision making hence daily activities becomes hectic.
Respiratory system effects
Chronic use of drugs such as tobacco has marked effects on the lungs and increases the risk of lung cancer. Besides, respiratory depression is common among opioid users.
Some drugs like alcohol have been associated with embryological malformations hence effects on the newborn babies.
Can people with addiction problems be helped?
Yes, they can. If you are addicted to a certain drug, you might want to consider seeing a health professional who will definitely introduce you to a detox program. This program will help you to comfortably withdraw from the substance you are using.
Drug addiction is among the clinical problems in medicine and surgery that need to be dealt with in the current world. We need to assess the predisposing factors to addiction and come up with ways of preventing this menace. Let’s combat drugs and substance abuse, shall we?