Many teens become addicted to alcohol or drugs due to peer pressure or to avoid stress. They get involved thinking that it will benefit them in one way or another. But they forget the long-lasting health effects of drug and substance abuse.
Drug and substance abuse is the improper use of prescription, over the counter or illegal drugs. It is vital for teens, parents, or loved ones to take the necessary steps to help with addiction issues. For example, If you are in New Zealand, you can consult Alcoholic help NZ. They offer rehabilitation and treatment to prevent the health effects of drug abuse.
Health effects of substance abuse
Several health effects result from drug and substance abuse. They include:
You can get stomach, lung, neck, and mouth cancer from smoking cigarettes. Male teens who smoke marijuana are also at risk of having testicular cancer. Smoking causes approximately 87% of male deaths due to lung cancer. It also causes approximately 70% of death due to lung cancer in women. Being a passive teen smoker also exposes you to secondhand smoke. It results in various health complications. Drugs like tobacco, marijuana, and steroids have a high risk of causing cancer.
Sexually transmitted infections
Teens who abuse drugs and substances usually indulge in high-risk sexual engagements. While under the influence, you cannot prevent risky behaviors like unprotected sex. It makes you contract HIV and hepatitis, among other sexually transmitted diseases. Others also share needles that they use to inject the substances. Thus, leading to the transmission of HIV from an infected person. Other than diseases, female teens also get unwanted pregnancies.
Mental health issues
Using drugs for a long time leads to mental health issues in teens. It makes you feel unwell and can cause you to try and harm yourself. Substance abuse changes how the brain functions. It leads to paranoia, anxiety, depression, or hallucinations. Drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine cause mental health issues in teens. Cannabis increases your chance of having psychosis or disorders associated with it. Methamphetamine gets you anxious and prevents you from relaxing or sleeping well.
If you abuse drugs and substances, you risk contracting respiratory diseases. Smoking marijuana or cigarettes leads to respiratory challenges like bronchitis or lung diseases. They also cause asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung infections, and even cancer. Cocaine and opioids lower your breathing rate, thus blocking air from reaching the lungs. Lack of oxygen can cause death.
When teens use steroids, they develop high levels of sex hormones. It makes their bones stop developing as required leading to musculoskeletal effects. You may have stunted growth, severe muscle pain, and weakness affecting your daily activities. Drugs like psilocybin, inhalants, and alcohol are high-risk drugs resulting in musculoskeletal issues.
As a teen, it is best to avoid drug and substance abuse for your good. The drugs have long-term health effects that may affect your life and even cause death. Seeking help from centers that offer professional guidance will help save your life.