How Prescription Drug Abuse Affects the Body

We’ve all seen commercials on television promoting prescription drugs, and I’m sure you’ve noticed the long list of potential side effects. We know that side effects are a normal part of taking a prescription drug – some more serious than others. But what about the consequences of prescription drug abuse? What exactly happens to our bodies when we abuse prescription medications?

Let’s dive deeper.

Prescription Drug Abuse and the Brain

The effect of prescription drug abuse on the brain depends on what class of medication you’re taking. However, it is well-known that drug abuse results in a tampering of the brain’s communication system by disrupting the way nerve cells normally deliver and receive information. Most drugs can alter the brain’s “reward” circuit, resulting in overwhelming feelings of pleasure or being “high”. This feeling comes from an increased production of dopamine in the brain.

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Prescription Drug Abuse and the Heart

Prescription drug abuse can cause adverse cardiovascular effects that can be life-threatening. This is because too much drug use is hard on the heart and can induce abnormal heart rates and other problems. This can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, collapsed veins and more. Too much of anything – whether it’s alcohol or prescription drugs – can put a heavy strain on the heart.

Prescription Drug Abuse and the Liver

The liver is responsible for helping to digest anything you put into your body. This includes prescription medications. These substances come in direct contact with the liver and, when used in excess, can cause it to work extra hard, break down and not function. This can result in liver damage and even drug-induced liver disease, which is caused by prescription medications.

Prescription Drug Abuse and the Immune System

Just like prescription medications can damage the brain, heart and liver, so can the drugs damage your immune system. Many times this effect is caused by the consequences of drug use, such as exhaustion or lack of food, which can lower a person’s defense system. It doesn’t matter which prescription drug you’re abusing – if you’re experiencing common effects of drug abuse, like fatigue, sleeplessness, inactivity and dehydration – you’re hurting your immune system and putting yourself at risk for other illnesses.

The above clearly explains how prescription drug abuse affects different areas of the body. If there is one piece of information to take away from this, it’s that prescription drug abuse has a profoundly negative effect on the body as a whole. It’s physical, mental and emotional – all reasons to seek prescription drug abuse treatment today.

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