Taylor Bowland, Spear reporter

Addiction, a ‘brain disorder’ defined by the want to experience the pleasurable effects of whatever they are participating or taking despite it may having consequences. But what could these consequences be? Whether it is addiction to cocaine, meth, sex, tobacco, or alcohol there are life threatening impacts that the addiction may cause. For instance, if you become addicted to tobacco you may be at risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, lungs, blood, stomach, pancreas, kidneys and a few other types of cancer. In addition, drug use that is considered an ‘Inhalant’ (Spray paints, butane lighters, gasoline, etc…) are very toxic to the nerve cells so it will either damage it or destroy them in the brain or the peripheral nervous system. The impact of addiction is tremendous and even life threatening, examples being: Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, cancer, AIDS/HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Lung disease, and a wide range of mental disorders. But do drugs cause mental disorders or are mental disorders leading people to drugs? Well, it’s both. Mental disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, and schizophrenia may lead to addiction based on subjugation and temptation to the drugs, but the drugs you may become addicted to can cause mental disorders if the cells in your brain are damaged or destroyed leaving you with a disorder or quite possibly brain dead.

Can your addiction harm others? Actually it could physically harm them as well as mentally harm them. If you are pregnant, while addicted to opioids or heroin as well as sleeping pills or antidepressants, you could harm the child are potentially subject it to NAS or Neonatal abstinence syndrome. NAS can cause a low birth rate, birth defects, and possible withdrawal after birth. With drug abuse and addiction sometimes comes with unsafe injections with dirty or shared needles. The main infections transmitted by injection are Hepatitis A, B, and C, and AIDS/HIV. These continue to spread because of addiction towards cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, which also accounts of 12 new AIDS cases each year from unsafe injections. But physical effects are the only thing that can be damaged, mentally you can you damage someone else. With constant worrying about your unsafe addictions they will work themselves over trying to fix it or try to help you and that can mentally harm someone especially if you become hostile towards them.

Are there effects from certain substance abuse? Most certainly, with almost all drug addiction comes drawbacks and effects to your body. For example, Nicotine is the addictive stimuli apart of cigarettes or different forms of tobacco. Because the addiction is with the nicotine, the user continues to smoke the tobacco which could lead to lung cancer, bronchial disorders and other risks that could prove to be fatal. Tobacco has killed roughly 100 million users in the 20th and if these trends continue a disaster beyond our imagine may occur. Scientists predict that if the trend continues approximately 1 billion users may die in this century. Another example would be prescription medications. Helpful to getting better from surgeries or injuries but also addictive. Addiction to opioids can lead to more harmful versions of the prescription such as heroin or morphine. Opioid pain relievers are often abused by crushing and snorting, or injected which increases the risks of addiction and overdose dramatically.

And remember don’t do drugs kids, drugs are are bad mkay.

Abuse, National Institute on Drug. “Addiction and Health.” NIDA,


“Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).” March of Dimes,