What are the consequences of drug abuse if left untreated?

Nov 15, 2022

Your adult son is usually blackout drunk most weekends, but does that mean he has an alcohol problem or is he just a ‘typical’ 22-year-old enjoying his youth? That’s a tough question, but addiction recovery experts agree that you can never go wrong by contacting a professional for advice. That’s because, as they have laid out below, untreated drug and alcohol abuse can have dire consequences for your loved one, and for you.
David Seitz

David Seitz

David Seitz, MD, Medical Director at Ascendant Detox.

Negative Impact on Career and Financial Stability

If left untreated, drug abuse can have severe consequences for both the abuser and the people around them. First and foremost, drug abuse can lead to addiction, a condition in which the person can no longer control their substance use. This means they may continue using the drug even when it’s causing them physical or psychological harm because they cannot stop themselves. They rely on the drug to get through each day and can’t properly function without it. While it may feel good for a while, drug abuse will eventually take its toll on the body and mind, leading to significant health problems, like organ damage, memory loss, and in some unfortunate cases, death.

Untreated drug abuse can also take a toll on relationships. The abuser may become withdrawn and isolate themselves from friends and family, or they may start to lie, steal, or otherwise act out in ways that damage the trust those relationships are built on. Sometimes, the person’s drug abuse may even put others in danger, like if they’re driving while under the influence or engaging in risky behavior while under the influence. In short, drug abuse can have a ripple effect that touches every aspect of the abuser’s life.

Lastly, drug abuse can also negatively impact someone’s career and financial stability. If they’re unable to stick to a job or perform well at work because of their drug use, they may start to lose money and fall behind on bills. In some cases, their addiction may even lead to legal problems, like if they get arrested for drug possession or driving under the influence. All of these things can make it very difficult for someone to get their life back on track, especially if they don’t see the value of getting themselves into treatment.

Personal Difficulties, Chronic Health Issues

The consequences of untreated drug addiction are many. If a person has a substance use disorder, they may experience difficulties in their relationships, work, school, and really in all areas of life. It can affect them legally, physically, and emotionally. A person who has a drug use disorder may have trouble keeping or retaining employment. They may have difficulty meeting personal responsibilities. Substance abuse can negatively impact physical and chronic health issues.

Lauren Debiec

Lauren Debiec

Lauren Debiec., M.A., Addictions Therapist, The Ohana Luxury Drug Rehab.

Ketan Parmar

Ketan Parmar

Dr. Ketan Parmar is a Psychiatrist and mental health expert at ClinicSpots.

Serious Health Problems, Legal Troubles, and Relationship Problems

Drug abuse is a serious problem that can have devastating effects on the user and those around them. If left untreated, drug abuse can lead to serious health problems, future academic or professional challenges, or even death. Thankfully, there are various treatment options available if you or someone you know struggles with drug abuse.

When you abuse drugs, you risk serious health problems, legal troubles, and social isolation. If you have a drug abuse problem, you may experience negative consequences in many areas of your life, including your relationships, career, finances, and health.

Health and Legal Issues
Drug abuse can cause a variety of health problems, including liver damage, heart problems, weight gain, eating disorders, tooth decay, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and hepatitis. Drug abuse can also cause psychological problems, like anxiety and depression, as well as a higher risk of mental health disorders, like schizophrenia and other types of psychosis.

If you have a drug abuse problem, you might break the law or get in trouble with the police. You might deal drugs or steal to pay for your drug use. Drug abuse can also lead to legal troubles for others, including your family members, friends, and coworkers.

Relationship Problems
Drug abuse can cause problems in your relationships. People who abuse drugs often lose their friends and family members because of their drug use. The abuse can also lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem, which can lead you to isolate yourself from others. You may find yourself spending less time with friends, family members, and loved ones. You could also get into arguments with loved ones as a result of your drug use. Drug abuse can also lead to divorce, child custody issues, and child abuse.

Career Interruption or Job Loss
If you have a drug abuse problem, you might have challenges keeping a job. Drug abuse can cause you to miss work, show up late, be unreliable, or even get fired. You may not be able to achieve your career goals. People who abuse drugs also can have trouble getting a job and getting into college.

Drug abuse can have serious consequences if left untreated. If you or someone you know struggles with drug abuse, there is help available. Treatment options include therapy and group or individual exercises, as well as support groups for loved ones. If you or someone you know has a drug abuse problem, don’t wait to get help. There is plenty of help available if you need it.

Addiction, Overdose, and Death

Drug abuse can lead to several serious consequences, including addiction, overdose, and death. It can also lead to financial problems, legal problems, and relationship problems. If left untreated, drug abuse can ruin a person’s life. It’s always best to get help for drug abuse as soon as possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, please reach out for help. There are many resources available to help you get on the road to recovery.

David Sanchez

David Sanchez

David Sanchez, RN, and Founder of Miracle Recovery.

Harold Hong

Harold Hong

Dr. Harold Hong, Medical Director at New Waters Recovery.

Infectious Disease, Mental Health Problems, Social and Relationship Problems

Drug abuse—particularly opioids—has become a national health crisis with far-reaching consequences. If left untreated, it can lead to several catastrophic consequences, including:

Overdose and death
A National Center for Health Statistics report in 2021 saw a 28.5% increase in drug overdose deaths in the United States after the record breached the 100,000 mark. And although not all overdoses are fatal, they can lead to serious health complications, including coma and permanent brain damage.

This is because drugs, especially opioids, reduce the brain’s oxygen supply, causing brain hypoxia. And since brain cells are susceptible to oxygen deprivation, even a short period without oxygen can cause irreparable damage.

HIV and other infectious diseases
People who abuse drugs are at a heightened risk of contracting contagious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. This is because they often share needles or have unprotected sex while under the influence of drugs.

Mental health problems
Drug abuse can lead to several mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and psychosis. These mental health problems can be both short- and long-term, making it difficult for people to function in their everyday lives. In some cases, people turn to drugs to cope with their mental health problems, leading to a cycle of abuse.

Social and relationship problems
People who abuse drugs are often preoccupied with their next fix; they may neglect work, school, or other important responsibilities. This can lead to job loss, financial problems, homelessness, and an inability to maintain healthy relationships. They may lie, cheat, or steal from the people they love to get money to buy drugs-signs that they are no longer in control of their drug use.

Also, they tend to be more dangerous due to a lack of rational thinking and judgment while under the influence of drugs. This can put their loved ones at risk of physical or emotional harm.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.