What is a drug?

  • A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.
  • It is a chemical which is given to people in order to treat or prevent an illness or disease.
  • Drugs are substances that some people take because of their pleasant effects, but which are usually illegal.

In simple words, anything that relieves stress and gives a pleasant effect and is generally used for treatment or medical purposes. The different dru g affects different parts of our body, and these substances have side effects as well which can be deadly when overdosed.

What are the effects of drug abuse?

The effects of drug abuse depend on the type of dr ug, any other substances that a person is using, and their health history.

Drug abuse, misuse, and addiction can all lead to both short-term and long-term health effects. Some of these are mentioned below:-

Short-term Effects

  • Drugs are chemical compounds that affect the mind and body. The exact effects vary among individuals and also depend on the drug, dosage, and delivery method.
  • Using any drug even if you have a medical prescription can have short-term effects.

For instance, consuming one or two servings of alcohol can lead to mild intoxication. A person may feel relaxed, uninhibited, or sleepy.

  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products gives nicotine which raises blood pressure and increases alertness.
  • Using a prescription by a doctor helps relieve moderate-to-severe pain, but opioids can also cause drowsiness, shallow breathing, and constipation.

(Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and many others.)

  • Drug abuse can affect aspects of a person’s life beyond their physical health. People with substance use disorder, for example, may experience:
    • an inability to cease using a drug
    • relationship problems
    • poor work or academic performance
    • difficulty maintaining personal hygiene
    • increased impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors
    • loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities

Long-term Effects

Drug abuse, especially over an extended period, can have numerous long-term health effects.


Chronic or excessive drug use can alter a person’s brain structure and function, resulting in long-term psychological effects, such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • panic disorders
  • increased aggression
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations
  • Long-term drug use can also affect a person’s memory, learning, and concentration.

The long-term physical effects of drug use vary depending on the type of drug and the duration of use. However, experts have linked chronic drug use with the following health conditions :-

1. Cardiovascular disease – Stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, can damage the heart and blood vessels.

The long-term use of these drugs can lead to coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and heart attack.

2. Respiratory problems – Drugs that people smoke or inhale can damage the respiratory system and lead to chronic respiratory infections and diseases.

Opioids slow a person’s breathing by binding to specific receptors in the central nervous system that regulate respiration. By depressing a person’s respiration, these drugs can lead to slow breathing or heavy snoring.

A person may stop breathing entirely if they take a large dose of an opioid or take it alongside other drugs, such as sleep aids or alcohol.

3. Kidney damage –The kidneys filter excess minerals and waste products from the blood. Heroin, ketamine, and synthetic cannabinoids can cause kidney damage or kidney failure.

4. Liver disease – Chronic drug and alcohol use can damage the liver cells, leading to inflammation, scarring, and even liver failure.

5. Overdose – Taking too much of a dr ug or taking multiple drugs together can result in an overdose.

World Drug Report

The World Drug Report is a report presented by United Nations on Drugs and Crime which is an annual publication that analyzes market trends, compiling detailed statistics on dr ug markets. The World Drug report is an extensive and comprehensive document.

Overcome this problem?

Finding the right treatment program can be a daunting task. Here are a few things to think about when seeking treatment for drug abuse, misuse, or addiction:

  • consider whether inpatient or outpatient services would be the best fit.
  • note that state-run treatment centers and programs can be free of charge.
  • look for programs that use evidence-based treatment strategies.


Anyone providing drug addiction treatment should tailor it to suit a person’s individual needs to ensure that it is effective.

Treatment may involve some of the following components:-

  • Behavioral therapy, which helps people build positive coping strategies and develop problem-solving skills.
  • Group therapy, which gives people the chance to acknowledge, share, and work through the psychological aspects of recovery with a group of peers under professional guidance.
  • Medications, to help minimize withdrawal symptoms.
  • Additional medical care, which may include vocational training and other resources that address problems associated with chronic drug abuse, such as mental health conditions, unemployment, and medical conditions.


  • Drug abuse can affect several aspects of a person’s physical and psychological health.
  • Certain drugs can lead to drowsiness and slow breathing, while others may cause insomnia, paranoia, or hallucinations.
  • Chronic drug use is associated with cardiovascular, kidney, and liver disease.
  • In addition to its physical effects, drug abuse can adversely affect a person’s relationships, home and work life, and mental health.
  • Care providers should tailor treatment to a person’s needs. Community-based organizations and state-funded treatment programs usually involve a combination of behavioral therapy, group therapy, and medication.

Shivani Sharma



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