There is no doubt that addiction is a terrible beast – but it is not clear to many just how terrible it is, or how dreadful repercussions of addiction can be. While almost any addiction can be treated with the right treatment and the strength and patience to see the recovery journey through to the end, not every addiction can be fully reversed. Certain repercussions can last decades, or an entire lifetime.
It is always important to remind people that the goal is not to return to how things were, but to learn from the addiction, and use it to grow as a person. That being said, there will always be wounds and repercussions of addiction to remind you of what has changed since the addiction, and here are some of them:
Addiction And Its Short-Term Consequences
The line between addiction and voluntary use is blurred because the transition happens so quickly and sneakily. People make mistakes, and for some, one of those mistakes includes taking an addictive drug to cope with another issue in life, or because of the pressure from others, or as a form of experimentation and rebellion.
For the unlucky few, once that reason to use passes, another lingers. An unstoppable craving, a constant desire for another hit. Addiction comes suddenly, making itself known only when you realize how hard you have to resist, only to succumb anyway.
The repercussions are immediate. For many, they begin as emotions, such as regret and shame. Despite the fact’s cruelty, being an addict is a mark against a person’s character in society, and that stigma is difficult to live with.
On top of this, short-term drug use very quickly begins to have an effect on a person’s brain, beginning with a susceptibility to more drug use, and evolving into damage to the person’s brain tissue, attacking their ability to reason, assess threats and risks, and make rational problem-solving decisions. With time, the repercussions of addiction can grow to become even more problematic.
Repercussions Of Addiction On The Body
The physical consequences of addiction vary greatly depending on the drug, the amount taken, and the duration of the addiction. For example, a survived overdose on a drug like heroin which greatly affects a person’s respiration can lead to brain damage and paralysis due to oxygen deprivation.
While most drugs can cause brain damage, especially with high use, some drugs lead to the deterioration of organs faster than others. Alcohol, for example, is poisonous to the body and takes a heavy toll on the liver to effectively filter and remove from the blood stream. This can cause severe damage down the road and can also affect he kidneys. Stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine, on the other hand, increase the risk of stroke and heart failure, putting a strain on the heart.
Repercussions Of Addiction On The Mind
The repercussions of addiction on the mind are undeniable – on top of short-term mood and personality changes, as well as general changes in behavior and risk-assessment based on the deterioration of certain parts of the brain, the mental health of a person struggling with addiction is often endangered. Since addiction is tied to risk-taking, one may worsen the other.
Addiction ties together with symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as paranoia. In severe cases of addiction, certain drugs (including alcohol) can cause memory loss, further complicating things.
Repercussions Of Addiction On Relationships
Many people who struggle with addiction will struggle immensely to keep a relationship going, simply because an addiction entails prioritizing your own cravings over everything and everyone else, including your partner. This means losing the ability to put one another first and becoming a troublesome person to be with.
Some partners stick around, and if the love is genuine and strong, it can be a powerful pillar of support and an important part of the recovery process. Others stay but only long enough to make their leaving so much more painful and devastating to recovery. And many leave entirely, because they cannot live with the behavior of their partner.
Repercussions Of Addiction On Your Future
Aside from social, physical, and mental issues, addiction still comes with a heavy price in society. Being addicted is difficult to recover from, but it also puts a label on you that can be difficult to shake in many cases.
In the worst of cases, an addiction can land you in jail for certain criminal behavior. An addiction can muddy a person’s reputation and haunt them for years.
Repercussions Of Addiction On Happiness
Speaking from a strictly chemical point of view, nothing produces as much concentrated happiness within a few seconds as a drug. Drugs are designed through careful manufacturing to produce a powerful high, and there is a reason they are so addictive and alluring.
But this happiness does not last. The human body recognizes inauthenticity when confronted with it, and over time, the unnaturally powerful high becomes negated. The body sees many drugs as a form of poison and resists their effects to return to a state of normalcy.
Yet as a side effect, this tolerance builds up a thick hide against any form of satisfaction in general, leaving you miserable or unfeeling if not under the influence of a powerful drug. And as time passes, that drug needs to be even more powerful to recreate that first high.
Sobriety means living a clear life, one where you can enjoy life to its fullest, with the entire spectrum of human emotion. Loss, regret, joy and more – there is so much to life, and it is in your power to live a positive and happy life. But addiction will render you numb to all that so long as you struggle with the affliction, which is why it is so important to shake it off.
Addiction, as a consequence of artificial happiness, can rob you of the opportunity to experience real happiness. Getting that feeling back takes time. With time, you can heal enough to rediscover the joys in life – but the road to getting there is filled with hardships. This is why many fail to stay sober – the incentives are distant, and the journey is long for most. But it is undoubtedly worth it, as the alternative means dying due to addiction.