There are both short- and long-term consequences of abusing drugs. A short-term or immediate result of abusing drugs is a loss of judgment. For instance, after taking cocaine, a person may engage in risky behavior like running through heavy traffic or jumping off a high bridge into a river. Most people with reasonable judgment would never try these activities. However, someone who is under the influence of illegal drugs isn’t able to think clearly. A loss of concentration in school, bad grades and the loss of close friends are other effects of abusing drugs.
There are also many long-term effects of abusing drugs, which may continue even if a person stops taking drugs. For instance, taking an illegal drug such as cocaine, heroin or crack can cause permanent damage to the brain and heart. It’s possible for an adult or a youth to have a heart attack after taking cocaine or another illegal drug just one time. Plus, in many cases, a person doesn’t know all of the ingredients mixed into an illegal drug. There could be a deadly mixture of chemicals in any illegal drug. Breathing problems are another long term effect of inhaling or smoking illegal drugs. Drug abuse can cause a person to lose his or her interest in everything but the drug. It can make someone steal from family and commit other crimes to get the money to buy drugs. Many people go to jail for the crimes they commit to keep up their drug habits. Sadly, drug abuse often separates a person from family and other loved ones. Whether it’s a prescription drug or an illegal drug, an individual has a lot to lose by abusing drugs.
By: Mark S. Gold, MD & Dr. Drew W. Edwards, EdD, MS 1. What Drives the Onset, Progression, and...
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