5 Medical Effects of Drug Abuse

You might know that drug abuse can cause emotional volatility, unproductively, and overall increased health risks, but have you ever explored the more specific medical effects of drug abuse?

There are a number of diseases and medical conditions related to illegal and prescription drug abuse, and many of them might surprise you. Here are just a few medical effects of drug abuse:

5 Effects of Drug Abuse

Brain AneurysmsWorcester, MA | 5 Medical Effects of Drug Abuse

In certain people, one of the effects of drug abuse is the development of brain aneurysms. The arteries that supply your brain with oxygen and glucose meet at the base of the brain, where smaller arteries branch out throughout the body. The points where the 4 main brain arteries meet can weaken and then balloon out, filling with blood and creating an aneurysm. When aneurysms leak, they spill blood on the surrounding tissues, leading to severe headaches, strokes, or even fatality. Brain aneurysms are among the effects of drug abuse, particularly cocaine use, as the drugs can inflame and weaken the artery walls.


January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to educate yourself and others on the disease. You might be aware that glaucoma is an optical condition of increased pressure within the eyeball that can eventually lead to blindness. But did you know that glaucoma is one of the many effects of drug abuse? A 2011 study found that cocaine use increased the risk of contracting glaucoma by 45% in males.


Also among the effects of drug abuse, specifically cocaine? Rhabdomyolysis, which is the destruction of skeletal muscle, which leaks to leakage of myoglobin into the blood. This can cause stiffness, muscle aches, and overall muscle weakness. Although muscle trauma is the leading cause of rhabdomyolysis, it can also be brought on by cocaine use, making it another one of the little-known effects of drug abuse.

Erecticle Dysfunction

Yes, you read that right — another one of the effects of drug abuse is erecticle dysfunction (ED) in males. This is because an unhealthy nervous system can cause ED, and abusing marijuana, cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, or alcohol can cause nerve damage.

Respiratory Issues

Did you know that respiratory problems are also one of the effects of drug abuse? Drug users may notice slowed breathing, aggravated asthma symptoms, and trouble breathing due to air being blocked from entering their lungs. The following substances will result in these effects: marijuana, heroin, GHB and ketamine, cocaine, inhalants, and prescription opiates.

Seeing the Effects of Drug Abuse in Your Workplace?

Clearly, these effects of drug abuse are all things we would like to avoid personally — and that we would like our employees and coworkers to avoid, too. ARCpoint Labs of Worcester, MA can help you with preventing drug abuse in the workplace by providing quick, reliable workplace drug testing, including pre-employment screening, random testing, post-accident testing, and reasonable suspicion drug testing. We also specialize in developing and implementing workplace drug testing policies.

To learn more about the effects of drug abuse or our services, call (774) 314-9551 today!

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