Although the use of drugs and alcohol is often portrayed as glamorous in the media, the truth is that no one looks like a movie star for long when they indulge in substance abuse. Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco all contain chemicals that have profound effects on your appearance. If you hope to avoid aging early, then you should be aware of these five negative effects that drugs and alcohol have on your body.
Furthermore, if you have a substance abuse problem, it’s imperative to seek help immediately. Find a men’s or women’s treatment program for drugs and alcohol addiction. While preventing premature aging and other repercussions of addiction on appearance can be a strong motivator for quitting, the real motivator ought to be a desire to be free from the deadly influence of addictive substances.
Watch Out for Premature Aging
When you want to know how smoking affects your appearance, just purse your lips and look in the mirror. All of those fine lines that you see around your mouth will eventually deepen if you continue to smoke. Tobacco and alcohol both have dehydrating effects on the body and those who engage in smoking in drinking have lower levels of collagen in their skin. Eventually, the combination of dry skin and less collagen leads to wrinkles that can make you look decades older than you actually are.
Be Aware of the Risks for Your Oral Health
Naturally, smoking gives you bad breath. However, that’s not the worst thing that it does to your mouth. Smoking any type of substance decreases blood circulation in your mouth that is necessary for healthy teeth and gums. Alcohol has similar effects in your mouth, and the dryness a night of drinking creates places you at greater risk for cavities. People who do drugs that include harsh chemicals such as meth may also have discolored teeth which erode from exposure to corrosive chemicals. In fact, your smile is one of the most visible places where you can see how hard drugs damage the body. Long-term smoking and drinking raises your risk for oral cancer, and people who chronically go to sleep drunk or high are less likely to brush and floss their teeth. For this reason, dentists often find that people with addictions have more oral health problems.
Avoid Issues With Weight Management
Many alcoholic beverages are high in calories, which means that you may be drinking your way to weight gain. Marijuana stimulates your appetite, which can lead to binging on unhealthy foods. In addition to alcohol and marijuana, other drugs influence you’re your weight. For example, long-term cocaine use alters how your body metabolizes food, and some changes such as the inability to process fat may be permanent.
Preserve Your Brain Functioning
When people think about how drugs damage the body, they often forget about the profound effects that substance abuse has on the mind. Heroin and other opiates interfere with neurons in the brain that affect your ability to regulate your emotions, and prolonged use of drugs like Xanax and Valium leads to memory problems. People who drink heavily also begin to lose gray matter in their brain that influences their ability to reason and make decisions.
Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease and Strokes
Drugs and alcohol place tremendous stress on your body’s circulatory system. As your body attempts to flush toxins from its system, the heart becomes overworked. When this happens, you may experience symptoms such as an increased or irregular heartbeat. In some cases, the increased stress on the heart leads to a complete stoppage that has potentially fatal consequences.
While it may feel good the first times you use drugs or alcohol, the sad truth is that the good times don’t last long. If you want to avoid premature aging and preventable health problems, then seek help at the first sign of a chemical dependency so that you can enjoy a long and beautiful life.