What are the main effects of drug abuse/addiction? There are numerous ones including different physical effects. That includes hormonal effects. Hormones are made chemicals that transmit messages from the body’s to cells in tissues/organs throughout the body. Hormones also help maintain the bloodstream’s chemical levels to achieve something called “homeostasis.” That’s a state of balance/stability in the body.
There are two types of hormones including steroids and peptides. The term “hormone” originates from a Greek word that has the meaning “to spur on.” It shows how hormones function as objects for chemical changes that are needed for development, growth, and energy.
What are the effects of drug addiction on hormones? Many people wrongly believe that ending drug addiction is just a matter of will-power. That’s certainly part of the process, and the first step an addict must take is to admit that they indeed have an addiction. However, it’s important to keep in mind that drug abuse affects hormones in a way that make rehabilitation/recovery almost required for the person to get totally “clean.”
Due to the response of the body to repeated drug use, this greatly lowers the person’s ability to act/behave as they usually do. To provide help for drug addicts’ lives, it’s important to know the basics about how hormones work to take the right steps regarding rehab and recovery.
Here are the main hormones involved in drug addiction:
This hormone provides different pleasure-based sensations. However, it works differently than other hormones like dopamine regarding how it impacts addiction. Several types of drugs like hallucinogens cause the human body to produce levels of serotonin that are higher than average. It results in feelings of calm/well-being.
The problem is that using these drugs over and over can result in the body lowering its response to the hormone serotonin. It doesn’t result in the same type of dependence like dopamine. However, it can make people depressed if they stop using the drug. Antidepressants frequently work by boosting the serotonin levels in people who have natural deficiencies of the hormone.
It is the primary hormone that’s responsible for the human body’s systems of reward and positive feedback. When people do things that give pleasure like food, sex, or drugs the body gives off dopamine.
In the case of drugs like cocaine and heroin, there’s a huge release of dopamine that can’t be done naturally. So the brains become dependent on big pleasure sensations that just drugs can provide. After the person stops feeling their highest the bodies still depend on whatever drug has been abused.
It is a type of steroid hormone that’s released in the body when it responds to stress and low-level blood sugar. The main functions are to boost blood glucose levels, help in metabolizing food, and to suppress the immune system.
In recent years several researchers have started to believe high levels of the hormone might promote alcoholism. People whose genes make them more prone to chronic stress might get more relief drinking alcohol than others. Various studies have linked high cortisol levels to alcohol withdrawal. It can cause people with substance abuse to relapse when they’re in rehab.
Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline and triggers the response in the human body known as “fight or flight.” It results in higher heart rates, blood vessel restriction, and fast breathing. Norepinephrine has similar effects. However, it also works like serotonin in boosting mood and social behavior.
There are people known as “adrenaline junkies” enjoy the rushes they get when they do high-risk behaviors. A big concern is that people who are thrill-seekers also frequently have a higher risk of drug abuse/addiction. Several studies have shown that people who like extreme sports, bungee-jumping and other dangerous activities are much more probable to develop dependencies on drugs if they use them.
When drug rehab patients are starting and ending detox adrenaline is a major concern. Here’s why. When the human body isn’t getting substances it relies on like food and drugs, the higher levels of epinephrine/norepinephrine trigger the fight/flight response.
It helps to explain the reason why certain addicts stop rehab quickly and start using drugs soon. Today’s doctors use special bio-feedback machines to track the brainwaves of addicts. It helps to identify patients who are at-risk before making unwise decisions.
The term “hormone” was first used over a century ago in June 1905. That’s when a professor at University College in London, UK used the term at a lecture. Ernest Starling was a physiology professor used the term in living a lecture in London. The word was from a Greek word meaning “to arouse or excite.”
Sterling described hormones as a chemical messenger that moves between cells in the blood stream. It was described as having the function of coordinating activities/growth in various parts of the human body. He gave a series of lectures related to secretions of the intestine.
Since then the concept of hormones has resulted in research in several fields. That includes chemistry, biology, and epidemiology. The study of the chemicals has also resulted in big benefits to human health in a wide variety of areas.
Since the first use of “hormones,” there has been various Nobel Prizes award for work with the chemicals. They include peptide hormones in the brain (1977), mechanisms of hormone actions (1971), hormones of the adrenal cortex (1950), a hormone in the metabolism of sugar (1947).
In recent times the issue of hormones and hormone-regulated metabolism has also been a hot topic of public health experts. That’s after US scientists had the hypothesis that different artificial chemicals might affect the human hormonal system and cause several diseases/disorders.
- Low libido
- Muscle Mass Loss
- Digestion problems
- Belly fat
These are some of the various possible symptoms related to hormone imbalance. It’s critical to keep in mind that having one or two of the symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean someone is suffering the effects of drug abuse or addiction on hormones. However, if you or someone you know shows several of the symptoms they should certainly be tested as there’s a good chance they might be dealing with drug addiction.
- Hormone Therapy
It is also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The process involves using hormones to treat various symptoms related to hormonal conditions. It’s helpful when the body loses high amounts of hormones due to drug addiction. There are various types of hormones so it’s important to talk with a physician about the process so you’ll know which hormones should be replaced, some hormones you need, and so on.
- Hormonal Drug Therapy
Some drugs interfere with cells that produce hormones and prevents them from making hormones. Other drugs work versus a hormone or the effects of the hormone on a body. The drugs could be made synthetically in a lab and function like natural hormones.
There are different types of drugs that can be used. An antagonist is a type of substance that binds to receptors. It then blocks the actions of another substance. Meanwhile, Anti-hormone drugs block interactions between a hormone and its receptor.
There are various types of hormonal drugs, and they work differently. Hormonal drug therapy involves using meds to alter hormone levels or interfere with the body’s hormones. There are different kinds of drugs that are used to impact various hormones. They also treat different health issues related to drug abuse. Here’s an explanation of some of the types of hormone drugs:
- Thyroid Hormones
This type of hormone stops the releasing of thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH). It’s used to replace the body’s thyroid hormone after the body’s thyroid gland was taken out. The hormone stops the growth of tumors after surgery/radiation or thyroid cancer.
- Sex Hormones
There are various types of reproductive hormones on the market. They have different functions, so it’s important to learn the basics before considering therapy.
- Corticosteroid Hormones
Hormones, as well as hormone-like drugs, are used for certain kinds of cancer including leukemia. These hormones are classified as chemotherapy drugs in the case they’re used to kill/slow cancer cell growth.
- Anti-hormone Drugs
These include a wide variety of different drugs including anti-androgen, anti-estrogen, and others. There’s a wide range of different types of these drugs, so it’s important to research them before considering the meds.
- Drug Abuse
Like other types of drugs, it’s possible to abuse and become addicted to hormone drugs. It’s important to note that drug abuse can have effects on various hormones. For example, various studies show that drug abuse can have a negative effect on a person’s reproductive system. It is one of the various types of addictions that can require rehab.
In fact, long-term drug abuse can have a major effect on the reproductive system of both males and females. In that case, they might require hormone drugs to repair the damage. The long-term effects of the drug abuse can cause varying results. For example, drug abuse can cause short-term hormone problems and problems having children. It can even cause long-term effects and make it difficult to have children in the future.
In fact, there are various negative effects of drug abuse on the reproductive system. There’s also the chance that a child could have physical/mental issues related to the drug use. There are many examples. For example, heroin abuse in men can affect the immune system and cause other problems like STDs, which can affect the long-term reproductive health of a person.
There are also other results of drug use that can affect a person’s sexual health. The reason is the endocrine system is affected. It causes hormone levels to become imbalanced and result in fertility issues. The main hormones that are affected include testosterone and estrogen. They can experience various symptoms like weight gain.
Drug use can also affect a woman’s reproductive system. So it’s important to know them. The female productive system can be affected greatly by long-term substance abuse including prescription and illicit drugs. Studies have shown that such substances can have a negative effect on the menstrual cycle of a woman.
It is greatly affected by the malnutrition that results from drug abuse. The result is common among women who abuse cocaine and heroin. It’s also possible for drug abuse to cause a woman’s ovulation to stop. It can cause the woman to have infertility problems. She might need treatments for reproductive health in the future.
Several drugs can affect the reproductive system’s chemical balance. It can affect the organs. It highlights the various issues that can result from drug abuse.
- Drug Rehab/Recovery
If you or someone you know is addicted to hormone drugs, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. It can involve tests and evaluations to determine whether or not the person is indeed addicted to the drug. The testing is a critical step because it will help to determine whether or not the person has a problem. In some cases, the person might have an addiction and simply need to scale back on their dosage of the drug.
It’s always better to be on the safe side. Even if you’re not 100% certain, you or a loved one is addicted or hormone drugs it’s a good idea to get tested just to make sure. That will help to give peace of mind knowing that the person can start a program for rehab/recovery.
There are several rehab programs available for drug addiction. They can use different approaches, but the overall goal is to end the person’s dependency on the drug. It can take a while, but it’s worthwhile. The process might involve things like meds, therapy, support, and others. The treatment might be in person or online. What’s most important is that the person starts rehab as soon as possible to get the best results.