The substances and medications you ingest can directly affect your appearance. Millions of people abuse drugs — and their appearance gives them away.
Drugs can prevent the body from healing, regenerating, and developing.
In case you’ve ever considered trying drugs, think again. If you currently do drugs, be aware of the physical consequences.
Your body gets affected by whatever you put it in. Healthy food improves it, while drugs can ruin it. Keep reading to find out the 10 physical effects of drugs on the body.
1. Changes in Skin Tone
Drugs can affect your skin differently, depending on the substance. Alcohol opens your blood vessels up, giving your skin a pink tone. It can also turn into rosacea.
Meth and heroin cause dullness in the skin tone. You may develop permanent bags under your eyes and sagging of the skin. Find out more about how these drugs affect skin tone and appearance.
2. Skin Irritations
It’s well known that certain drugs cause skin wounds. Meth and heroin both cause users to pick their skin. Subtle itches feel extreme to a person on these drugs, so they pick until their skin breaks.
Scratching and picking lead to large scabs on the face and body, which in turn, may cause acne and irritation.
When the body is trying to survive addiction, all its resources get used. The immune system suffers and so does its ability to heal itself. When the user picks his skin, these spots never fully heal.
3. Tooth Decay
Some drugs, such as heroin, lower your blood pressure and affect blood flow. This can cause the roots of your teeth to get inadequate blood supply. When the roots die, the teeth decay.
People suffering from drug addiction can lose teeth due to decay. If their intoxication causes them to grind their teeth, this can affect the tooth enamel.
The diet of most addicts affects their teeth too. If you aren’t getting a nutritious and balanced diet, your teeth suffer. They can lose their enamel, rot, and fall out.
4. Mouth Conditions
Besides the teeth, your oral health also declines with drug abuse. Some substances, such as alcohol, may cause severe acid reflux. This destroys the soft tissue in your mouth.
You may have heard of “meth mouth” before. This condition occurs when the addict neglects oral care and dental hygiene. Their breath becomes awful, their teeth get stained, and ulcers develop in the mouth.
5. Hair Loss
It’s common for certain drugs to cause unwanted body hair growth. People who abuse steroids may develop chest hair, but lose hair on their head.
Most amphetamines cause hair loss. You may notice the thinning out of your hair — and eventually bald spots.
Since drug use can cause malnutrition, addicts may experience hair breakage. The hair strands will fall out and not regrow. Malnutrition can result from a lack of appetite or access to healthy foods.
6. Weight Loss and Weight Gain
Weight loss and weight gain are both common effects of drug use.
Opioids, meth, and cocaine both decrease appetite. Addicts lose weight and develop a skeletal appearance. Heroin, for example, decreases the levels of healthy fats in the body.
The lifestyle of an addict may include excessive partying. This usually excludes meal planning and ensuring you eat enough calories each day.
On the other hand, substances like alcohol and oxycodone may cause weight gain. As alcohol causes blood vessels to open and become puffy, the body bloats. You can experience general swelling.
Some drugs also trigger an increase in appetite. Addicts may experience weight gain due to feeling hungry all the time.
7. Eye Conditions
Substances that enlarge blood vessels cause the eyes to become bloodshot. They may appear red and irritated. This is common with alcohol, oxycodone, and cocaine.
Oxycodone enlarges the pupils. Addicts look tired and the skin around their eyes sags.
Meth can cause corneal ulcers and blurry vision. Heroin can lead to talc retinopathy and fungal infections in the eyes. Cocaine may cause optic neuropathy and a condition called crack cornea.
8. Nasal Deformity
The most obvious effects on the nose are from cocaine use. One common method of ingesting cocaine is by snorting it up your nose.
Cocaine reduces the blood flow to the vessels in your nose. The septum will eventually get damaged and lose its ability to heal itself. You can develop a hole in the septum and a collapsing of the nose cartilage.
Another nasal effect is from alcoholism. Since alcohol causes the body to swell, the nose takes on a bulbous appearance.
9. Poor Personal Hygiene
People who abuse drugs often neglect their personal hygiene. They may be too intoxicated to remember to bathe. Or, they may lose access to bathing facilities due to their addiction.
It’s common for addicts to develop bad breath from not brushing their teeth. Some compounds, such as alcohol, cause the body to sweat. The sweat itself can smell like alcohol.
General upkeep of the body is a sign of self-esteem and self-worth. Since many addicts lack these traits, they let their hygiene fall to the wayside.
10. Brittle Nails
Nails become dry and brittle when they’re not getting enough nutrients. Addicts with poor diets will lack nail strength.
Heroin users may notice a blueish color to their nails. This is due to decreased blood flow and circulation. It can also cause the skin to take on a blueish tint.
Want to Learn More about the Effects of Drugs on the Body?
Drugs can destroy your mind and body. They cause the body to channel all its energy into surviving. Your physical appearance takes a back seat, and it shows.
The effects of drugs on the body reflect on your skin, hair, weight, and hygiene. They aren’t pretty and should motivate you to stay away from using drugs.
Prioritize your health. Take care of your body and it’ll take care of you. To maintain your appearance and become your best self, check out these healthy living articles.