A common myth is that substance abuse has no effect on the body. Many times people, usually young people but very often older people, will claim that they can take as many drugs as they want, and are in no danger of affecting their body in any way. This is simply untrue.
Introducing foreign or excess chemicals to your body is always going to have adverse affects. The body is not meant to operate in this way, and most of the substances that are abused today are made up of chemicals that will cause a “high”. These chemicals, whether they are introduced into the body through smoke in the lungs, in the blood stream, or through any other means, produce a feeling of euphoria, a high that often seems to alleviate the stresses of everyday life. This high can become addicting to people because the feeling good is often followed by a low period of feeling bad. People do not want to feel low, and so they use drugs again in order to feel good.
Besides the addiction from the high itself, substance abuse is chemically addicting. The chemicals that are in drugs, which are used to produce the high, also strip your body of the things that it needs, and therefore your body becomes dependant on the chemicals instead of on itself. As long as the chemical is in the body, you can function normally. However, when your body no longer has the chemical, your body will begin to fail, and you will feel like you need to have more of the chemical in order to feel better – or normal. In this way, your body becomes dependant on the chemical, and when you no longer have it, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.
During the withdrawal period, your body is basically asking for the drug. It is no longer able to function without it, so it sends signals to the rest of your body, explaining its absolute need for the chemical. A person might actually feel like they are dying – their cells are convinced that they are dying, because they don’t have the chemicals that they have been operating on. The person will feel like if they don’t get their drug, they won’t be able to continue living. This is the scariest part of addiction, because even if a person wants to get clean, they often can’t because they feel like they need the drug in order to survive.
Besides the adverse effects of the actual chemical dependency, using drugs will prohibit your cells and your body from getting all of the oxygen that they truly need to be the healthiest that they can be. A person who is using drugs is going to be filling his body with toxins, and his body will not be able to cope with all of them. Lung, heart, kidney and liver function will diminish as these organs must fight in order to rid themselves of the toxins. If your organs are using up all of their energy in order to rid themselves of the toxins, they will not be able to function in their proper way. Your blood will not get cleaned, and oxygen will not get to all of your cells as it should.
All of your organs will suffer from substance abuse, but most of all, your brain cells will suffer. Like your other organs, your brain relies on the oxygen it gets from the blood, and if you are denying your brain the oxygen it needs, your brain cells are going to die. When this happens, they will never again function as they should. Substance abuse will take its toll on your life, your body, and your brain.