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Risks of Untreated Drug Addiction and Abuse

What are The Risks of an Untreated Drug Addiction on Your Health?

When a person has a disease such as diabetes, getting treatment seems obvious in order to improve their quality of life. However, when it comes to substance use disorder, the person who needs the help is also the person who is usually actively avoiding treatment – a symptom of the disease of addiction. According to SAMHSA’s annual survey on substance abuse, over 20 million Americans over the age of 18 were addicts in 2014. Untreated drug addiction, like any debilitating disease, continues to get worse.

In this article, we will explore some of the risks involved with not seeking professional treatment for substance use disorder.

The Functioning Addict

A person living with an addiction may feel like they are managing their substance use and that the risks of untreated drug addiction don’t apply to them. However, the toxins that are inherent in all drugs and alcohol cause havoc to a person’s body the longer it carries on for.

The more alcohol and drugs that a person consumes, the greater their risk of developing serious medical problems. Not only are the physical risks of untreated drug addiction a major concern, but many areas of a person’s life deteriorate over time. Many addicts have lost their jobs, family and sense of worth as their untreated drug addiction was allowed to continue.

The Real Cost of Untreated Addiction

Whether a substance abuser is aware of it or not, their addiction greatly increases their risk of developing serious medical conditions, many of which are permanent.

Apart from the social, vocational and emotional problems that are caused by the abuse of drugs and alcohol, what is the health cost of untreated addiction?

The more a person abuses a substance, the longer the abuse goes on for and the person’s medical state can have an impact on how at risk a person is of developing health problems. The following looks at common problems that addicts face.

The Brain

It is a well-researched fact that addiction alters the structure of a person’s brain, which is why it is classified as a mental disorder. While it is clear that a person’s brain is affected by drugs during their abuse, the changes that occur in the brain can sometimes be a permanent condition. A person may have an impaired ability to understand, learn and think, which can continue even after drug use stops.

Additionally, out of the 20.2 million substance abusers in 2012, almost 8 million of them also had a co-occurring mental disorder. The co-occurrence of addiction with another mental disorder such as depression is common. In many cases, the development of another mental disorder is greatly increased through the use of a drug or alcohol.

The Heart

Certain drugs are known to put a severe strain on the heart, causing a myriad of heart problems. Through excessive use, a person may cause their heart to beat irregularly and potentially lead to complete cardiac arrest over time due to a weakened heart and blockages in the arteries and veins.

Addiction Treatment Centers

Before an addiction is allowed to escalate, take the time to speak to an addiction specialist at addiction treatment centers such as the ones found on Better Addiction Care. Treatment is a highly effective way to overcome substance use disorder. Start your recovery journey today and claim back what addiction stole from you and your family.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf