Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Digestive Issues and Drug Abuse

Digestive Issues and Drug AbuseDrug abuse can lead to a number of problems, including digestive issues. According to the National Institutes of Health, digestive system damage caused by substance abuse is increasing among drug addicts throughout the United States and the world. Studies show that long-term substance abuse causes cancer in all parts of the digestive system, including colon cancer and rectal cancer. Synthetic drugs were linked to digestive, liver, and vascular problems in the stomach. Certain types of colitis are also associated with drug abuse, as well as the damage done to the digestive system by smuggling narcotics by swallowing small packets of drugs or inserting them into the rectum. But certain drugs used to treat digestive issues can also be abused and lead to additional problems.

Drug Abuse and Digestion

The digestive system is sensitive to changes in diet, sleep habits, and substances that are not natural to the body. Plainly put, abusing drugs can wreak havoc on your stomach and all its related systems. Many prescription drugs contain warnings about digestive issues while taking the medication and how to avoid them. Abuse of street drugs can lead to irregular sleep patterns and increased stress which both contribute to digestive issues. Poor diet and lack of quality nutrition is directly associated with drug abuse and addiction and can cause diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, stomach pain, and bleeding ulcers. Drug abuse makes it almost impossible to make other healthy choices that would improve digestive issues.

Habit-Forming Digestive Drugs

Sometimes people with digestive issues become dependent on the drugs they use to control their problems. Laxatives used to treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be habit forming and make it difficult to have regular bowel movements without them. Regular use of anti-diarrheal medicines can lead to constipation. Some physicians prescribe low doses of antidepressant such as Elavil and Tofranil to relived stomach pain and severe diarrhea for patients with IBS. Using these drugs in ways other than prescribed by your doctor can lead to dependence and addiction.

Stress and Digestion

One of the biggest causes of digestive problems, whether related to drugs or other lifestyle issues, is stress. Learning stress-reducing techniques like yoga, meditation, and other forms of regular exercise, can relieve stress and reduce digestive issues without the use of drugs. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can also help reduce stress and digestive issues in patients and treat those who struggle with drug abuse.

Finding Help for Drug Abuse

If you or a loved one deals with digestive issues associated with drug abuse, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator. We are ready to answer your questions about addiction and help you find treatment.

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