A person’s immune system is intricately linked to drug abuse and addiction and can be negatively affected by substances in numerous ways. Many people suffer from weak immune systems, chronic illnesses, and more serious immunodeficiency disorders. Immunodeficiency disorder can leave people constantly susceptible to various illnesses and viruses. People with these types of disorders have to regularly take antibiotics and other substance like ibuprofen in order to reduce pain and fever. In some cases ibuprofen can be overused by people with an immunodeficiency disorder leading to the development of addiction and dependency. The chronic illnesses that people with immunodeficiency disorders often develop can lead them to abuse various drugs in order to cope, which can also cause addiction. In other cases people who abuse or become addicted to certain drugs can develop problems with their immune system. The majority of drugs have negative effects on the immune system causing various illnesses and health problems. Binging on drugs can have severe effects on the immune system including the following:
- Binging on alcohol can cause the body to go into a state of toxic shock which can lead to various types of infections and liver damage
- Binging on drugs like methamphetamine or heroin can cause the body to become severely dehydrated and ill
- Binging on drugs or alcohol can cause the immune system to become overrun with various infections and diseases
- Binging will often cause people to develop flu-like symptoms that may require professional medical attention to overcome
Different types of drugs can have different effects on the immune system although most of the effects are negative. Some of the different types of drugs and how they affect the immune system includes the following:
- Alcohol – Addiction to alcohol can significantly decrease the immune system’s ability to fight off infections and diseases making the addict more susceptible to illness. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to severe immune system deficiency within a matter of days. Alcohol acts by inhibiting and reducing the amount of cancer fighting white blood cells within the body making the person more susceptible to developing liver cancer or other liver diseases.
- Marijuana – Marijuana abuse can lead to the damage of sensitive cells within the lungs and increase the risk of disease and bacterial infection. Smoking marijuana can weaken the immune system and increase the risk for common marijuana abuse related problems such as pneumonia, respiratory infections, and cancer.
- Methamphetamine – Abuse of and addiction to this substance can critically damage the functionality of the immune system and make way for numerous infections and potentially life threatening diseases. If a disease like cancer is contracted within the body of someone addicted to methamphetamine, the immune system will be unable to fight back resulting in death.
Seeking out immediate treatment for any illnesses including drug or alcohol addiction is essential to experiencing a healthy recovery.
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