How Do Drugs Affect the Body?
By: SOL Recovery Center 12 May 2016

How do drugs affect the body? Much has been said about drugs and alcohol and the harmful impact they have within your body, i.e. internal organs such as your liver, kidneys, heart and brain. However, there seems to be much less discussion on the damage drugs can cause to the outside of your body, i.e. physical appearance. The impact drugs can have on physical appearance is daunting…. Let’s take a closer look at a few commonly used drugs and see how they can wreak havoc on your good looks.

How Do Drugs Affect the Body: Cocaine

A coke user’s nose takes the lion’s share of abuse. When snorting cocaine through the nose, blood vessels in the septum’s lining constrict, reducing the supply of oxygen and therefore causing damage to the septum. The user’s nose may be red, bloody, runny, and stuffed up. In worst cases, the damage to the Septum causes the bridge of the nose to collapse giving the nose a “smushed” look. Coke users often experience the feeling of bugs or spiders crawling on the skin and want to scratch incessantly giving way to unsightly skin sores and scabs. Lastly, some develop “Coke Bloat” an uneven puffiness and bloating on the face.

How Do Drugs Affect the Body: Heroin

Heroin delivers a heavy blow on the body. Heroin suppresses appetite causing a user to look sickly and undernourished. As a result of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency, dark bags appear under the eyes and skin sags and wrinkles. Heroin lowers blood pressure giving off a bluish tint to the skin and arms are often covered with needle marks and scabs as a result from picking at the skin.

How Do Drugs Affect the Body: Amphetamines and Methamphetamine

Of all drugs, “Meth” is the most brutal on your outward appearance. From extreme weight loss to lack of sleep, Meth users look emaciated and sickly. Users suffer from “Meth Mouth”, a condition caused by the drug’s acid that rots away at the teeth’s enamel. Like Cocaine and Heroin, Meth addicts tend to pick at their skin and develop unsightly scabs and bruises throughout the body. Meth accelerates wear and tear of the body and causes the skin to look haggard and worn.

How Do Drugs Affect the Body: Marijuana

“Pot” or “Weed” smokers often get the munchies and binge on junk food resulting in unpleasant weight gain. Weight gain, combined with glassy red eyes are the telltale signs of marijuana users. Although some see Marijuana as a harmless recreational drug, it contains harmful carcinogens similar to those in Tobacco that accelerate the aging process. Marijuana contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that can increase Testosterone levels, skin breakouts and hair loss.

Alcohol’s Effect on the Body

Alcohol is high in sugar and therefore caloric. Drinking excessively can cause weight gain. Even a couple of harmless cocktails are equivalent to eating a burger. Sipping an innocent glass of wine is like eating a cupcake. More alarming, alcohol can lead to liver damage resulting in a swollen stomach and facial bloating, possibly even distorting facial features. Also alcohol destroys the skin, the body’s largest organ. Because alcohol is dehydrating, the body becomes deprived of vital nutrients and Collagen production and your skin suffers, looking dull and pre-maturely wrinkled. Hair and nails are affected too and become brittle and dried-out. Some even believe that Rosacea, a skin disorder that makes skin turn pinkish-red and causes facial disfigurement, is a result of alcohol.

A look into the Future…

Fortunately, computer technology can show a person how powerful the effects of drugs can have on physical appearance over time. A person simply uploads a current photo of him/herself and selects the drug of choice. The computer will then generate an image of that person in the future after taking drugs, showing how his/her physical features have deteriorated. One hopes that this frightening glance into the future will cause a person to think twice before deciding to use.

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