The Cost of Substance Use and Abuse

Many discussions are had about what the most damaging part of living the modern age is. Whether it is the economy or bilateral relationships with other nations, they often ignore one of the most underlying and conspicuous killers of the population, the abundance of substance abuse. Research and studies have shown that people who use and abuse substances are generally less healthy, are stigmatized by their peers and family, and have less money to spend on themselves due to supporting their unhealthy lifestyle.

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 People afflicted by substance abuse generally have poorer health than people who do not take any form of drugs, suffering from physical health issues and mortality, mental complications and suffer from a greater risk of catching diseases. According to a mortality report by the CDC (2005) “during 1997–2001, cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke resulted in approximately 438,000 premature deaths in the United States” displaying the shocking amount of deaths directly caused by smoking. Drug abuse not only affects the body in the long term, as there are also immediate negative effects incurred by drug usage. Additionally, a study by Wieczfinska, Kowalczyk, Sitarek, Skala, and Pawliczak (2018), “the cells of the smokers are more sensitive to cigarette smoke ingredients”, demonstrating that the longer a person is using cigarettes they will become far more predisposed to the negative effects of smoking. Physical effects usually are accompanied by mental effects, that are just as bad if not worse than physical effects. In conclusion to their study Wieczfinska, Kowalczyk, Sitarek, Skala, and Pawliczak (2018) state “Only a few years of smoking results in changes as deep as alterations of expression in blood cells.”.

 We can conclude with the various long-term and short-term effects of smoking usage that there is an unoptimistic trend physically affecting the body in continued or new users. In the same study, it is stated “the study indicates that short-term smoking evokes changes that may lead to serious disorders, and possibly COPD. These changes are strictly connected with the oxidative status of cells, and more importantlythey, are so serious as to be visible in peripheral blood cells.”. The physical changes that take place are devastating enough to affect the cells that are not even directly impacted by the substances in the smoke can reflect the damage. The evidence of long-term and short-term smoking usage and abuse show the extremely dangerous consequences that affect the human body. As horrible as the physical effects of abusing cigarettes are, they are seldom the only side effect a person can experience, there are also several mental effects that are synergistic with a bodily condition. The most common mental affliction seems to be an addiction and the inability to simply stop using or worse experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

In a study by Ahrnsbrak et al. (2017) showed “spent a lot of time engaging in activities related to alcohol use, continued use despite physical health or emotional problems associated with alcohol use, reduced or eliminated participation in other activities because of alcohol use, and experienced withdrawal symptoms when cutting back or stopping use”, adding to the argument that using substances repeatedly and often begin to take a clear toll on the mind’s ability to wean off an abusive substance.

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The Cost Of Substance Use And Abuse. (2019, Nov 13). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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