Before we talk about the dark side of drugs, lets get our definition about drugs crystal clear. As of 15th March, 2014, according to Wikipedia- A drug is a substance which may have medicinal, intoxicating, performance
enhancing or other effects when taken or put into a human body or body of another animal and is not considered a food or exclusively a food. So yeah, if you are doping your dog, and telling your mom that its dog
food, you are a criminal. You might believe in drug abstinence and yet at the same time, unknowingly using the most widely used psychoactive drug beverage, COFFEE. Aah, I can hear the argument escaping your mouth
that everybody uses it. Just cause everybody uses it does not mean it won’t cause any harm to anybody. It has its own set of side effects. We will encounter that in the list. Medicinal drugs, as in aspirin, morphine, are also pretty messy drugs, if not used in control. You can take a cue from my favorite TV serial character Dr. Gregory House, from House M.D., and no sir, I am not in any way blaming you, Mr. Hugh Laurie. His, seemingly in control, use of Vicodin, a medicinal pain killer, turns into an addiction before he could realize. So yeah, drugs screw you big time. Let me put in just another 10 side-effects to prevent you from screwing up your life.
This one might seem coming straight out of a fiction novel, but is far more real then you could ever imagine. The act of conjuring random, sometimes pleasant and sometimes crazy as hell, images, hearing voices of the dead, or some damned relative thousands of miles away, under the effect of drugs has been observed by doctors, and enthusiasts, all alike. Not only recreational drugs like LSD, crack a.k.a. cocaine cause hallucinations, but also drugs found in your medicine box like Aspirin and morphine, are also included in the list. Then we are not safe in any way, right? The trick with medicinal drugs is to pay attention to a little detail which dictates-“Only To Be Used After Being Prescribed By A Trained Physician”. As for recreational drugs, throw the damn thing off a cliff and stop ruining your life, you nincompoop!
9. Sleep Disorder
This one deserves a special mention as it shows how even after leaving a drug can leave a foul taste in your mouth. A healthy sleep, in general, include Rapid Eye Movement Sleep(or REM sleep) and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is responsible for those dreamy dreams you see, while non-REM is the amount your body requires to recover. When a person(in our case a patient), addicted to sleep-inducing drugs, or anti-depressant drugs or any other kind of sedative-hypnotic drugs takes abstinence, his natural REM phenomena gets pretty messed up. In a person with normal sleep behavior, a temporary body paralysis occurs, which keeps his/her body stationary. But in a person with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, allowing the person to go beyond and replicate his or her dreams. RBD is characterized by the acting out of dreams that are vivid, intense, and violent. Dream-enacting behaviors include talking, yelling, punching, kicking, sitting, jumping from bed, arm flailing, and grabbing.
If you think amnesia is a matter to worry about, years from now, and is none of your concern right now, then think again. Doctors have found that many drugs, both illegal and legal, are known to cause memory loss. Recreational drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine of course cause memory loss, and can lead to amnesia. Long term use of marijuana is also known to cause memory loss. However, you would be shocked to know that overuse of some prescribed drugs such as those used to counter anxiety, or the anti-depressant drugs, anti-cholesterol drugs, can also induce forgetfulness in some patients, if overused. These drugs may interfere the transfer of data from short-term memory to long-term memory. So if you want to share those cool, stud stories with your grand-son, beware of drug overdose.
7. Unexpected Size Change in Sex Organs
Man hold on to your pride, as this might change the way you look at the cool world of drugs. Nicotine containing products(like the very classic, cigarette), prolonged use of marijuana, drinking excess of alcohol and using steroid-based drugs are known to cause male infertility, which includes the decrease in size of your testis. If you think, Lord knows how, you can manage that effectively, then there’s more in store. Gynaecomastia, or enlargement of male breast tissue, is common in older men, but can be caused in men of much younger age, from abuse of certain drugs like anabolic steroid drug, heroin, anti-depressants and many more. So ya, it not only ruins your public image, but also affects your happy bed time. Its your choice.
6. Damage To Your Stomach
One of the most common side effects of internally-taken drugs is the damage, caused to your stomach, or in general, to your gastro-intestinal tract. Consider the case of miracle drug, Aspirin. Aspirin, if taken regularly, has a chance of giving you ulcer. It belongs to a family of drugs called Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, that can seriously damage your gastro-intestinal tract. In most patients, it causes only mild, unnoticeable pain, but for a lucky few, it goes out of the box, and causes stomach ulcers, bleeding, holes in tissue, and even death.
5. Weight Gain
Aah, Weight gain! The trending topic in a world filled with fat people, trying to be slim as a sugarcane! Not downsizing your flabbergasting goals, I would recommend you to re-check your prescribed drug dosage, so that you won’t have to throw those old jeans away. Yes, you heard it right. Drugs can cause weight gain. Anti-depressants(man they must be evil!), migraine medicines, anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers are known to cause abnormal gain in weight in some people, if not used under correct prescription.
4. Body Ache
Undoubtedly, there are many drugs that help in easing body pain. But some can actually induce body pain. A major culprit in this area, are the very popular anti-histamines. Although, used to reduce swelling caused due to cold and flu, they can induce muscle pain and backaches. It is also known that prolonged use of drugs such as statins, ACE inhibitors and cocaine can also induce muscle pain or myalgia. This may force you to buy another drug to treat the muscle pain, and could be the beginning of an endless streak of drug use for you.
3. Vision Loss
Although being rare, some medicines are reported to cause vision problems, ranging from dry eyes to light sensitivity, to more serious problems such as vision loss. Acne-medications and anti-histamines are known to dry your eyes, and in some very rare cases, cause serious eye problems. It mostly depends on the previous condition of the patient, and his drug use(or abuse). A bit of blurriness can be managed, but any more than that suggests a visit to your doctor.
Ageusia, or complete loss of taste, is yet another drug side effect that will definitely leave a bad taste in your mouth, or maybe not. A metallic mouth taste is a common problem that many people complain of at some point in their life. Although they’re not the only cause of a metallic taste in the mouth, medications are some of the most common reasons for this weird feeling. Thyroid medications usually cause a loss of taste by binding onto zinc, whereas cancer treatment medications cause loss of taste due to their affect on rate of division of taste-sensing cells. You definitely don’t want to be in a situation in which you can’t distinguish a pizza from spinach!
You are having a back pain. You took advice from a good old friend, and took some pain killers. Next thing you know, you are DEAD. Its not a fictional story, whose characters don’t have any resemblance to real life characters. A painkiller by the name Viox, took more than 60,000 people to their death bed, before it was banned. In America alone, more than 100000 people die due to prescription drug side effects. Its more than the number of people dying from use of illegal drugs. The numbers, although astonishing, suggest that we are progressing towards an age, where medications are actually the one claiming people’s lives, before time.