Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease.
Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of the underlying organ, have serious harmful consequences, and are preventable and treatable, but if left untreated, can last a lifetime.
People of all ages suffer the harmful consequences of drug abuse and addiction.
- Babies exposed to drugs in the womb may be born premature and underweight. This exposure can slow the child’s intellectual development and affect behavior later in life.
- Adolescents who abuse drugs often act out, do poorly academically, and drop out of school. They are at risk for unplanned pregnancies, violence, and infectious diseases.
- Adults who abuse drugs often have problems thinking clearly, remembering, and paying attention. They often develop poor social behaviors as a result of their drug abuse, and their work performance and personal relationships suffer.
- Parents’ drug abuse often means chaotic, stress-filled homes, as well as child abuse and neglect. Such conditions harm the well-being and development of children in the home and may set the stage for drug abuse in the next generation.
- While some of the physical effects of drugs might sound nice, they do not last long. Many people get depressed and lonely afterwards and start feeling sick. Also, it is common for people who use drugs to seem confused, have red eyes, sweat a lot and not care about their physical appearance.