Addiction and Your Physical Health

Addiction and Your Physical Health

Author: GIA Miami
Published: October 19, 2020
In recent days with the spread of the Covid-19 becoming more prevalent, many people wonder how it affects people struggling with addiction. If you or someone you care about is addicted, the likelihood of more severe symptoms increase. At GIA, we are particularly interested in ensuring that each of our patients has the tools they need to achieve long-term sobriety. And to this end, we offer a broad range of telehealth options so that you can continue to get the help you need while quarantined at home. But there are also several simple steps you can take to make sure you remain physically during this time of uncertainty. Understanding how addiction and health are intertwined is key in healing and recovery.

The Effects of Addiction on Your Physical Health

Let’s make one thing clear: addiction is a disease that physically affects the chemistry of the brain. And once addiction takes hold, the physical effects can be more than just inconvenient. They can be dangerous and even deadly. Among the most common effects of long-term drug and alcohol abuse are:
  • Kidney damage. Substance abuse often causes tissue damage, muscle breakdown, dehydration, and fluctuations in body temperature, all of which damage the kidneys over time.
  • Liver damage. We tend to think of liver damage as a problem faced exclusively by alcoholics. In reality, the liver — which filters the blood — is damaged by most kinds of substance abuse.
  • Heart failure and heart disease. Addiction commonly results in fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure and irregular cardiac rhythms and heart attacks. Intravenous drug users are also at a higher risk of blood-borne infections and vascular damage, which also adversely affect the heart.
  • Lung damage. Any inhaled substances — like tobacco, marijuana, and crack cocaine — cause damage to the lungs. Drugs that slow a person’s breathing rate — like opioids — also cause lasting complications to these vital organs.
When you use drugs and alcohol, the results are not only psychological and behavioral. Your body is being damaged every time you use these substances.

Treat Your Body Right

It is no secret that people who drink or engage in drug use are less likely to take care of their bodies properly. In addition to the adverse effects of alcohol and drugs on the body, individuals with substance use problems often fail to eat nutritious foods and have difficulty sleeping because of their addiction. This wears the body down, making it easier for viruses to take hold when they come around. We tend not to associate good nutritional health with battling addiction. But by addressing the following, you can make that struggle easier, and also reduce your chance of acquiring other kinds of conditions such as:
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet — our nutritional services program at GIA is a great place to start.
  • Exercise — even low-impact exercise like walking and stretching — is an excellent way to overall immune health.
  • Reduce stress by using mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises, and other approaches.
  • Take the time to get fresh air every day — going out into the sun works wonders for the mind and body.
This list is not comprehensive. Addiction and health is a complex relationship. But by paying attention to what your body is telling you, you begin your road to recovery all the more effectively.

Learn More About Addiction and Health at GIA Miami

GIA’s nutritional and wellness programs were designed to give you the tools you need to replenish the nutrient deficiencies that have resulted from addiction and help you to develop healthier habits. The two pillars of our program are:
  • Nutritional services program. This program focuses on the critical role of nutrition in a person’s overall health, especially when you have struggled with addiction. By learning the basics of nutrition, shopping on a budget, and cooking, our nutritionists will give you the tools you need to feel your best as you recover and to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
  • Fitness and addiction program. You will work with a personal trainer to establish and maintain your physical fitness. Clinical research shows that physical activity relieves stress, improves mood, and provides structure and discipline, all of which are critical components of long-term recovery.
By focusing on these and other important aspects of your physical and mental health, the team GIA Miami can help lay the foundation for your future health and happiness. Reach out to us online or call 833.713.0797 to learn more.
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TESTIMIONIAL
I went home and took a nap and I woke up and I told my wife, I don't ever want to do cocaine again and she looked at me and she said what do you mean? 
~ J.Z.

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