|In the second article of this 4-part series focusing on addiction, we will explore the many impacts that an addiction can have, not only the individual with a diagnoses of addiction, but also the toll on those connected to this individual and society in general.
Other articles in this series:
The impacts of addiction can vary for each individual and may also differ depending on the substances being used and tolerance levels. However, one constant remains the same in that an individual can see negative impacts in the physical, psychological, relational, and spiritual areas of their lives as a result of an addiction.
*This article does not contain medical or therapeutic advice. If you, or someone you know, is concerned about your health and well-being connected to substance use or an addiction, speak with a local healthcare professional, or reach out to specialized support for addiction.
The physical impacts of addiction can be widespread throughout the systems of the body, including the brain. This can include an increased desire for the substance.
Other physical impacts can include:
The psychological toll of an addiction can be devastating for an individual, yet many individuals who experience addiction may suffer through many of these impacts on their own from fear of judgement or feeling embarrassed by their behaviours.
Other psychological impacts can include:
The impacts of addiction on relationships can range from minimal such as a partner noticing the mood swings or withdrawal from their spouse, to extreme such as neglect, spousal or child abuse, or worse.
Other impacts on relationships can include:
The impacts of addiction on spirituality or religious beliefs can be complex and may range from an individual losing their belief in faith or stepping off their spiritual path as a result of the other impacts felt through their addiction. However, many treatment programs incorporate a spiritual element into their recovery models as a way of enhancing the existential relationship within an individual battling addiction.
Impacts on Society
Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs costs the United States of America more than $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.
Addiction rarely touches only one individual and can in fact have a ripple effect outwards to the society an individual lives in. It can be simple to quantify the costs associated with addiction on the society at large, but according to WHO the "intangible costs are the costs assigned to pain and suffering, and more generally to a diminished quality of life" in the case of alcohol-related addictions.
Other societal impacts can include:
Watch: an interesting viewpoint about how addiction and connection can have more of an impact than previously thought.
In next weeks article, we will begin to explore ways to cope and find support through addiction.
Worried about your own substance use? Start finding out more with the self-evaluation: Alcohol Reality Check - Please note: This tool not intended as a replacement for an official diagnosis. See your local healthcare provider to find out more about your concerns and treatment options.
References: healthyplace.com, who.int, drugabuse.gov, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The links on this page may be embedded with affiliate links that I am compensated for at no additional cost to you. If you or someone you know is in crisis and need immediate support, please reach out to your local emergency service or crisis line.