There’s a huge problem with drug abuse right across the world at present, with an opioid crisis getting a grip on many nations, not least the USA and UK. There are many different reasons as to why people are turning to drugs, whether it be stresses with work, everyday life or the current cost of living crisis.
In the workplace, drugs have long been a problem, particularly in cities, with drug addiction increasing at a dramatic rate, with more and more people checking into rehabilitation centers across the country. For additional information, you can check UKAT.co.uk.
However, whether suffering from addiction or simply being more of a recreational user, drugs can have a large impact on your health, both mentally and physically. In the case of the latter, your appearance can deteriorate in a number of areas. And it isn’t pretty…
Starting from the top, a number of drugs, most notably steroids can cause hair loss in both men and women. For men, you can lose both facial hair and hair on the head, while many other drugs will leave hair feeling dry and dull, which can lead to an overall unhealthy look.
You’ll start to see hair go more stringy and thin, with brittle hair that can often fall out in patches too. Not only does the substance have an affect on this, but also the stress that addiction can often cause.
For cocaine users, especially, snorting cocaine can lead to heavy nosebleeds and decrease a person’s sense of smell. However, the main concern here is that the cartilage inside your nose can be destroyed entirely and cause your nose to collapse.
This can seriously affect a person’s life and require significant surgery to repair the issue. Either way, you’ll look completely different to what you once did.
Poor dental hygiene is common among the consumption of many drugs. Meth can cause dry mouth and teeth clenching which can result in “meth mouth”, a look you really don’t want. It can lead to incredibly bad breath, while smoking cigarettes, cannabis and many other substances can have a similar effect.
Cannabis will contribute to drying out the mouth, which can lead to gum infections as well as the dangers of oral cancer.
With many drugs, your appetite can also change. For example, meth can decrease your desire for food and lead to weight loss that will make you physically thinner.
Other physical effects can include the development of breasts in men and stunted growth due to steroids, meaning you never actually reach your full adult height.
Posture is also likely to be affected, with people who abuse drugs more hunched and bent than the average person.
Overall, however, the effect of drugs can lead to a generally unhealthy looking essence to you and it will be noticed by others. Physical appearance is often one of the key indicators someone is taking drugs or addicted to drugs, so if you believe a loved one is suffering, then it may be worth keeping an eye out for certain physical changes.
The skin is one of the parts of your body that can suffer most through drug addiction, whether it be cannabis, cocaine or anything else. The skin can be impacted in a number of ways and it can often even come down to simply touching your face more.
This not only has an impact on physical health, but mental health too with many people suffering severe anxiety due to the health of their skin, and when you throw the heightened anxiety drugs like marijuana can cause as a side effect, it can be particularly damaging for a person.
In fact, studies have shown that, particularly for images posted on social media, around 50% of people find their natural skin what they’re most self conscious of, and in today’s day and age that’s huge, particularly among young adults and females, in particular.
One of the most common side effects on the skin is acne. Clogged and blocked pores allow bacteria to grow on the skin and with many drugs also leading to people sweating more, the toxins within that sweat is only going to quicken the growth of bacteria.
There are many other impacts drugs can have on the skin too. Dry skin is among the most common, so you’ll start to develop rashes or chapped lips, while you may also see uneven skin tone and scars develop from acne.
Muscles and Bones
There are also indirect impacts on muscles and bones that can be caused through addiction. Muscles can break down due to the exhaustion and sleeping problems that many forms of addiction cause. Alcohol, for example, can impact the absorption of calcium, while also releasing toxins into the bloodstream that affects muscles and organs. Therefore, you’ll become weaker.
What’s more, many drugs have a significant impact on your functionality and lead to the likes of balance and coordination problems, which in turn will lead to more falls and accidents and put your body further at risk of damage.
At its most severe, osteoporosis can be one of the main muscle and bone problems, and occurs when bones break down and weaken. It has been linked to substance abuse, and given that most people begin drug use before their peak bone mass, it can stunt growth and development of bones which can cause major problems later in life.
As you can see, drugs can have a serious impact on how you look, and that will have a knock on effect to mental health too. Not only that, there’s everything that’s going on on the inside too, with drugs also having an impact on vital organs, which is more lethal than your physical appearance.
Problems with the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys can all be life threatening and cause long-term illnesses and damage that will ultimately see your life cut short, so it’s not just how you look that will change forever, but your overall health and wellbeing too.