Addiction’s Toll on the Body

Addiction can have many dire consequences to our mind and body and therefore we must overcome them. Many of us do not realize how overusing both drugs and alcohol can damage every part of the body in different ways. Addiction is a difficult thing to overcome, but knowing the facts can help to bring a new perspective on the situation. Here are just a few ways in which addiction takes its toll on the body.

Addiction's Toll On The Body

The Brain and Mental Health

There are many different drugs out there and they can all have a different effect on the brain, whether this be depression, anxiety and even hallucinations. The nervous system and brain work in conjunction with each other and putting chemicals into our system that are not usually there disrupts this normal working order. Many drugs can cause psychological dependence, as the brain believes it can no longer function without them. This can damage your memory and concentration and flashbacks. Alcohol can make the user believe they really are invincible and can have devastating consequences. Both alcohol and drug addictions will decrease brain activity and concentration and affect mental health severely.

The Heart

Any addiction can cause a lot of extra strain on your heart which can be too much for it, often causing heart attacks. Many drugs increase how fast your heart is beating and therefore addiction causes the heart to work overtime every day. This can cause weakened muscles and heart irregularities. This also leads to other complications such as raised blood pressure, which can have many other effects on the body too. The heart can be permanently damaged from addiction and this is something that cannot be fixed.

Drug Addiction Pills On Hand

Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the biggest reasons addiction occurs is because people cannot cope with withdrawal symptoms and therefore continue to give their body what it craves until they cannot stop. Withdrawal symptoms affect the body in many ways, such as anxiety, depression and irritable mood, as well as sweating and itching. You may also have uncontrollable shakes and your brain will want you to do anything you can to get your next hit. This is where stealing and violence can also become a part of your addiction and its toll on the body. To battle addiction, you need to recognize the signs of withdrawal and overcome them in other ways.

Hair and Skin

Addiction can completely change how you look, from the strength of your hair to the appearance of your skin. When drugs or alcohol begin to degrade the skin, losings its ability to function as it should, it begins to scar easily and becomes prone to spots and wrinkles. People may also experience hair loss as the hair follicles and scalp are not getting the nutrients they need to grow and repair. If your scalp itches, this may be due to your addiction and the toll it is having on both your skin and hair.

The Gastrointestinal System

What is happening inside us is also very important and as lots of drugs are eaten, every organ it encounters along the way is also being affected. This means constipation or diarrhea is very common in those with addictions as well as bloating and liver damage. Most alcoholics will have an extremely damaged liver, some to the point where they need a liver transplant to survive.

If you or a loved one is battling with addiction, ensure they get help from the right person. Addiction can have many tolls on the human body and some more serious than others. The longer the addiction goes on, the worse the effects on the body will be.



  1. Loes says:

    Thank you for pointing out the withdrawal symptoms, Lynne. It makes it understandable why quiting an addiction is often so hard to do, and why people fall back into their old habits. And that you need an iron will to be able to quit whatever addiction you are suffering from. And there are a lot! From energy drinks, to drugs, to game addiction. And they all will have withdrawal symptom. This makes it easier to show compassion. Thank you.


    • Lynne says:

      Loes the withdrawals can be really bad, especially when it comes to drugs like sleeping pills and heroine However there will also be withdrawal symptoms with process addictions such as gambling and sex. The first hurdle is getting through those first few days and weeks where the physical withdrawals are so bad. 

      in fact when I quit smoking I could barely think straight for about 6 months, it consumed me. I was shocked at how powerful nicotine withdrawal is. 

      • Loes says:

        I know, Lynne, I am a smoker, and I tried several times to quit, still a smoker though:(

        • Lynne says:

          Hi Loes – it is not easy to quit, it took me many years to get the strength to even attempt it. I hope you manage to get it right some time, it really comes with amazing benefits!

        • Otis Dube says:

          Thanks you Lynne you are one of a kind and yes I subscribed to your link because these is real talk you just brought up. Indeed addiction comes in so many ways like continuous thinking your own dream to become in life and you keep on chasing it which brings out symptoms such as anxiety, one of the biggest reasons addiction occurs is because people cannot cope with withdrawal symptoms and therefore continue to give their body what it craves until they cannot stop.

          the cornerstone is the body cannot keep up with all the things we give to and truly is not easy to come out of addiction and people know is there but helplessly stuck in there that is why I call it cornerstone.

          Thank you again Lynne that is an excellent revelation you said it all.

          • Lynne says:

            Otis that is so true, once you get stuck in the cycle it is just so hard to get out again!

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