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Medical Complications and Addiction

Medical Complications and AddictionDrug addiction has long-reaching effects on physical and mental health. Addiction may alter parts of the brain and increase the chance of developing certain medical conditions. Some types of medication less effective or carry the risk of relapse for recovering Albuquerque residents.

How Addiction May Lead to Medical Complications

Amphetamine addiction may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life and may reduce disease resistance. Individuals addicted to amphetamines may not be able to take medication for certain mental health issues such as attention deficit disorder or similar problems with focus or anxiety. Abuse of amphetamines may damage parts of the brain and lead to the kind of problems they are used to address, and these problems may then be harder to treat because of the potential for relapse.

Addiction to heroin, prescription painkillers or other opiates may harm an Albuquerque resident’s ability to manage pain. Repeated abuse of these drugs may reduce their pain-relieving properties, making it difficult to manage pain during times of medical need. Opiate users who take drugs intravenously may be injecting small insoluble particles that can damage the heart, increasing the risk of heart failure or heart disease. These drugs may also increase the chance of arthritis which may require surgery or other long-term care.

After recovery from addiction it may be difficult to find ways to treat pain without the risk of relapse. Addiction changes the brain’s reward pathway and affects how dopamine is processed, and after repeated use the brain may consider drugs necessary for survival. This makes it difficult to treat pain and other medical conditions in recovering addicts. Painkiller addiction may also reduce the brain’s ability to benefit from these drugs in the future which may increase pain from minor conditions and make severe pain harder to treat.

How Medical Complications May Lead to Addiction in Albuquerque Residents

Individuals with no prior substance abuse may become addicted when prescribed certain medications. Ritalin, Adderall or similar drugs prescribed to treat ADD may be abused by taking larger doses or by taking the medication more frequently. Individuals may do this intentionally to go without sleep or to complete a challenging project. This can lead to mood swings and physical and psychological dependence and may require quitting the drug in order to recover from addiction, making ADD and other problems harder to treat.

Painkillers prescribed for injuries, post-surgery pain or other chronic pain can cause addiction or lead to physical dependence. Patients who are unaware of the risks may take higher doses or take medication for its euphoria-causing effects which may increase the chance of developing addiction. Albuquerque residents who have a genetic susceptibility to addiction may experience cravings even with light use, and without medical assistance and treatment may become addicted or dependent.

How Addiction Affects Future Medical Treatment

Recovering addicts may find it difficult to use some drugs including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Some products that may need to be avoided or supervised include the following:

  • Nasal sprays
  • Mouthwash
  • Anxiety medication
  • Allergy medication
  • Cold medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Laxatives
  • Prescription pain medication
  • Prescription ADD medication
  • Weight loss pills
  • Sleep aids
  • Valerian root or Kava Kava

Recovering addicts who require medication that may put them at risk of relapse should talk to their doctor or an addiction counselor about avoiding relapse. Family members may assist by holding medication for the patient, or there may be non-addicting alternatives.

Learn More about Addiction and Medical Complications

If you are suffering from addiction, you can recover. Addiction may cause serious health damage, but with quality treatment you can regain your health. Call our 24 hour toll-free helpline to learn more about the benefits of addiction treatment.