Drug addiction is a huge problem that many people simply don’t understand. It’s easy to just tell people that they should stop but that’s not really how it works and the road to recovery is a long and difficult one. There are so many different reasons that people develop drug addictions in the first place and often, they’re a symptom of a much larger problem. Beating a drug addiction isn’t just about stopping the drugs, it’s about rethinking your whole approach to life and dealing with the issues that caused you to turn to drugs in the first place. If you can do that, you stand a much better chance of beating your addiction.

But even if you can get clean and stay off the drugs, that doesn’t mean that you’re ever completely over the addiction because there are a lot of long lasting effects that you have to deal with. A lot of people aren’t prepared for this and they really struggle in the years following their addiction. If you’ve recently overcome a drug addiction or you know somebody else that has, these are some of the long term effects that you need to be aware of. 

Trouble Reintegrating Into Society 

This is a big problem that is not really addressed properly. There is a lot of stigma around drug addiction and while people respect the fact that you have beaten your addiction, there is still a lot of people that will always see you as a drug addict and nothing more. This is particularly true if you have a criminal record related to drug offences and it makes it very hard to reintegrate into society and live a normal life. 

It’s very difficult to get past this and there are some people that simply won’t accept you, but there are certain things that you can do to help. First off, if you are in trouble with the police over drugs, you should seek advice from an experienced drug lawyer like Robert S. Toale who can help you win a favourable verdict in the case. Not having a criminal record or at least getting reduced charges will help so much when trying to find work. You should also try to show people that you are more than an ex drug addict through your actions. Try to live a positive lifestyle and prove to people that you are reformed, if they aren’t willing to accept that, there isn’t much that you can do. 

Psychological Issues

Addiction is often tied up with other existing mental health problems and drug abuse has also been proven to increase your chances of poor mental health. That means it’s very likely that you will suffer with mental health issues even after you have stopped taking drugs. 

People that suffer from alcohol addiction are often dealing with feelings of depression or anxiety and they use the alcohol to self medicate. But once you stop drinking, those feelings won’t go away. Marijuana and cocaine often cause feelings of paranoia in people while they are using them and if you are a regular user, these feelings can continue even after you stop using. 

The danger here is that if you don’t manage those issues, there is a chance that you will slip back into your old habits again. That’s why it’s so important that you seek counselling on a regular basis and try to deal with the root causes of the addiction. 

You should also try to make changes to your daily routine and do things like exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. If you have been a heavy drug user in the past, your risk of mental health problems is heightened, so you have to take more measures to maintain positive mental health. 

Physical Effects 

As well as the mental impact of long term drug abuse, you may experience physical effects as well. Kidney damage is one of the more common physical effects of prolonged drug use and kidney failure is not uncommon among people that use drugs regularly. If you are a heavy drug user, the damage that is done may not be reversible and you might be dealing with those health problems for a long time to come. Liver damage is very common as well, especially in people that abuse alcohol. However, the liver can repair itself in some cases as long as you stop using alcohol and drugs early enough. A lot of drugs increase your heart rate as well and that can do a lot of damage over a prolonged period. 

Even if you beat your drug addiction, it’s likely that there will be long term effects that you have to deal with for the rest of your life and you need to be prepared for that.

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