Health Risks Associated With the use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol
The use or abuse of alcohol and other drugs increases the risk for a number of health-related and other medical, behavioral, and social problems.
- Acute health problems related to intoxication or overdose (blackouts, convulsions, coma, death).
- Physical and psychological dependence.
- Long-term health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver.
- Organic brain damage.
- High blood pressure.
- Heart disease.
- Ulcers, and cancer of the liver mouth, throat, and stomach.
- Contraction of diseases such as AIDS through the sharing of hypodermic needles.
- Pregnancy problems including miscarriages, still births and learning disabilities.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (physical and mental birth defects).
- Psychological or psychiatric problems.
- Diminished behavior (hangover, hallucinations, disorientation, slurred speech).
- Unusual or inappropriate risk-taking, which may result in physical or emotional injury or death.
- Violent behavior toward others, such as assaults and rape.
- Accidents caused by operating machinery while impaired.
- Impaired driving resulting in alcohol- and drug-related arrests, traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities; negative effects on academic or work performance.
- Conflicts with co-workers, classmates, family, friends, and other conduct problems resulting in disciplinary actions, including loss of employment and legal problems including imprisonment.