Surely, you may have already heard about the side effects of abusing drugs, but how much do you really know about this? You may think your drinking habit aren’t destructive or your use of hard drugs is “just for fun”, but this usually isn’t the case. Understanding the full consequences that these substances can have on you could change your life either positively or negatively.
Drug is a substance used to treat an illness, relieve a symptom or modify a chemical process–the body for a specific purpose, while hard drugs are potent and illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, cannabis, that usually leads to physical or psychological dependency. So before you reach for that bottle, drugs or that pipe, don’t forget about these harmful effects of alcohol and drugs.
The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Although it may weigh less than three (3) pounds. It controls both your thoughts and the physiological processes that keeps you alive. When you first use these hard drugs or take in alcohol, your brain releases a chemical called “dopamine” that makes you feel euphonies and makes you want more of these drugs. Overtime, your mind gets so used to that extra dopamine that you can’t function normally without it. Everything about you changes including your personality and psychological way of thinking which may lead to insanity.
The use of hard drugs and alcohol can have a serious effect in every part of your body from your heart to your bowels. The use of hard drugs can lead to abnormal heart rates and heart attacks, and injecting drugs can result in collapsed veins and infections in the heart and lungs. Constant use of hard drugs over a long period of time will eventually damage the kidney and liver.
When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there is a possibility of engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse. Having unprotected sex increases the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and also sharing the needles used to inject certain drugs can give infections like hepatitis B,C.
The use of illicit drugs possess risks for pregnant women and their babies. Those drugs may contain impurities that can be harmful to an unborn baby. Pregnant women who use hard drugs may harm the fetus with risky behaviours and poor nutrition. It can also lead to premature birth or low birth weight.
The use of hard drugs and alcohol does not only have negative effects on health but can also have legal consequences that will have to be dealt with for life. Many employers require that you will have to take a blood test before offering you a job. Many of them even conduct random drug test, even after you become an employee. Refusing to give up the use of those hard drugs could end up making you unemployed.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to a suspended driver’s license, usually from six months to two years. You will also pay heavy fines and may also spend half of your life time in jail.
Majority of the hard drugs and alcohol are expensive, especially when you develop an intensive addiction for it. It has a negative impact on your productivity, success at work and in school. The time spent for searching, using and recuperating for drugs can be better spent learning new skills to advance one’s career. The illegal issues tied to the use of these hard drugs will increase your bills as well as lead to bankruptcy.
If you use drugs and alcohol a lot, you are most likely to experience physical injuries or be involved in a series of car accidents. Even worse, you can also have an increased risk of death through both suicide and homicide. It’s estimated that one out of every four deaths is caused by these hard drugs and alcohol, according to the World Health Organisation (W.H.O).
In a nutshell, the intake of hard drugs and alcohol can’t be over emphasized and the side effects of these drugs and alcohol to our health and to our society at large is a topic we can’t really exhaust at a sitting. It affects our social life, spiritual life, moral way of behavior and most of all our career and it goes further to affect our unborn infants and render them useless.
To cope with the effects of hard drugs and possibly end it, government should equip the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to carry out their duties which is to restrict the movement of hard drugs across the states. Penalty should be given to anyone who is involved in the buying and selling of those hard drugs.
Also, government should form more agencies with the responsibility of checkmating those carrying hard drugs during transportation. They should allocate revenue to the agencies concerned to work effectively and implement a law to prevent those below 18 years from taking and selling alcohol.
Egbesionu is a student of Eastern Polytechnic, Port Harcourt.