HOW DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE CAN WREAK HAVOC ON YOUR GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM
- December 15, 2018
When it comes to studies on how alcohol and drugs affect the body, the chances are high (no pun intended) that the first thing you will think of is the impact of these substances on the digestive tract. After all, with the exceptions of smokables and injectables, a majority of drugs like pills, capsules, powders, and alcohol are usually stuffed into a person’s mouth, whereupon it starts to descend into the throat and beyond. Although we often take it for granted, our gastrointestinal system (simply called the digestive system) is still as critical a component as our nervous systems, so abusing it will often result in severe consequences. So, how doe poisonous drugs and alcoholic drinks affect the part of our bodies that process nourishment and fuel? Let’s take a closer look and find out more about the effects of substance abuse and addiction on the gastrointestinal system.
What Is the Gastrointestinal System?
Simply put, the gastrointestinal system is the network that is responsible for processing, digesting, and absorbing food to turn into fuel for our bodies. Overall, it comprises the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus (yes, that, too). Likewise, the liver and pancreas also play a huge role by secreting digestive juices that break down our food to make it easier to process.
Dangerous Drugs and Digestion
Overall, dangerous substances affect our bodies in different ways. To summarize, let’s take a look at some particularly dangerous drugs:
- Alcohol: liver cirrhosis (tissue damage), Mallory-Weiss syndrome (internal bleeding caused by alcoholic acidity), tongue swelling, destruction of bacteria in esophagus and mouth, low saliva
- Opiates: constipation (normal), narcotic bowel syndrome, liver damage (acetaminophen)
- Tobacco: heartburn, peptic ulcers (open wounds), liver malfunction, Crohn’s disease (intestinal swelling), cancer (all forms)
- Cocaine: blood clots (block the intestines), necrosis, intestinal gangrene, liver damage, loss of appetite, nutritional problems
- Marijuana: no known issues besides cannabinoid hyperemesis (constant vomiting and impulsive need to bathe)
Always remember that alcohol and drugs not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or addiction troubles today.