Due to the impact of addiction on dietary intake, weight loss and malnutrition are two of the long-term physical effects of addiction. Even without an addiction, malnutrition can have adverse health effects. Without vitamins and minerals, the immune system cells becomes weaker. Additionally, the cells of the body cannot repair themselves properly. This means that those with addictions are more likely to get sick and take longer to recover.
Additionally, the route of administration can affect health. Sharing needles is a common practice among injectable drug users. This increases the risk of transmitting viruses that cause diseases like AIDS and hepatitis.
Liver and kidney damage
The vast majority of drugs and substances are metabolized and excreted by the liver and kidneys. This applies to herbal, non-prescription, prescription, and illicit drugs.
When an addiction occurs, substance use is not for treating any illness but rather to feel pleasure or relief. On top of this, addictive substances are potent and taken in large doses. Overdosing or taking a medication longer than necessary can overwhelm the liver and kidneys, leading to damage and failure.
Addictive substances have an acute and chronic effect on the heart and blood vessels. Some drugs cause vasoconstriction or narrowing while others cause dilation or widening. This has an effect on blood pressure and heart rate. Sudden or frequent changes in blood pressure can result in headaches, fainting, capillary fragility, and stroke. These can also put a strain on the heart, leading to insufficiency and failure in the long run.