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10 Ways Drug Abuse Hurts You and Those Around You

Most of us have heard countless times that drug abuse isn’t beneficial—the word “abuse” is in the name, after all. But a lot of people don’t realize just how dangerous it can be, both to the person using and the people that person loves and cares about.

One of the most effective ways you can work to prevent the dangers of drug abuse is by learning what, exactly, those dangers are so that you can better understand the nature of the problem and share that information with people around you.

Dangers of Drug Abuse: Knowing Is Half the Battle

To make it easier, we’ve outlined some of the most common ways drug abuse can be deeply hurtful to you, your community, and the people you love. With this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to protect yourself and your loved ones from danger.


  • It Hurts You Physically First and foremost, drug abuse is very literally harmful to your body. Depending on the drug of choice, abuse can lead to lung and cardiovascular disease, stroke, various kinds of cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C, to name a few. Unfortunately, these aren’t only consequences that come from long-term use. For example, using just once can result in a fatal overdose, brain damage, and/or infect someone with diseases that will stay with them for the rest of their life.


  • It Hurts Your Job No matter the type of drug you take, abusing that drug can have serious consequences when it comes to landing and maintaining a job. In the short term, impaired judgment and lack of sleep from drug use can make you perform poorly the duties you’d otherwise excel at. In the long run, desperation from addiction can lead to stealing, lying, excessive absences, and other undependable behaviors that an employer will find unacceptable.


  • It Hurts Your Mental Health In addition to impacting your physical health, drug abuse can also take a serious toll on your mental health. Depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, and insomnia can all stem from drug abuse; or, if the person already had mental health problems before using the drug, those problems are often exacerbated by its use. In some cases, these issues can’t be reversed once a person discontinues use of the drug.


  • It Hurts Your Finances Simply put, drugs cost money. The more you abuse a drug, the more of it you need to get the same effect, and therefore, the more money you need to spend to support the habit. Combined with the aforementioned detriment drug abuse can have when it comes to maintaining a job, persisting with this habit can have serious negative impacts on your financial future.


  • It Hurts Your Freedom Difficulty with finances, keeping a job, and mental health problems are all issues that can ultimately land a person in jail. Whether it’s by pursuing unlawful means of financial gain, committing crimes due to paranoid delusions, stealing from others to support a habit, or any other of the myriad ways drug abuse can contribute to criminal activity, each of those paths leads to the same place—jail.


  • It Hurts Your Romantic Relationships Healthy romantic relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Unfortunately, drug abuse commonly leads people to engage in deceitful behaviors that breach that trust. Dishonesty about money spent on the drug, lying about whereabouts, or not being forthcoming about the use of the drug are some of the ways trust, and ultimately relationships can be destroyed due to drug abuse.


  • It Hurts Your Friendships In addition to the deceit that commonly accompanies drug abuse, detrimental personality changes can arise, too. Having a short temper, lack of patience, decreased interest in others, and self-serving habits are all prevalent behaviors stemming from drug abuse that can negatively impact your friendships.


  • It Hurts Your Family Relationships Generally, the more someone abuses drugs, the more their priorities shift toward their drug of choice. For instance, an important family event, such as a wedding or baby shower, will often take a backseat to a person’s drug use. Prioritizing a drug over loved ones can very quickly lead to self-alienation and tarnished or broken family relationships.


  • It Hurts People You Don’t Know Even people with no relationship to the person abusing drugs can be severely impacted by that person’s use. Car accidents as a result of driving under the influence, burglary, assault, and other harmful behaviors are much more common among those abusing drugs and, as such, put innocent bystanders at a much greater risk of being harmed.


  • It Hurts Your Community Communities rife with drug use and abuse tend to reflect the problem in negative ways. There are more drug dealers, break-ins, instances of prostitution, and other criminal behaviors that threaten the safety and security of a community.

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