More than one-third of individuals recovering from addiction continue experiencing chronic physical ailments, suggested a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Excessive usage of alcohol and drugs may cause various types of physical and mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, liver disease, heart disease, and diabetes. While a lot of these conditions usually improve after recovering from addiction, some may persist and adversely impact the quality of life.
The study analyzed the impact of recovery from addiction on certain medical conditions that are either caused or aggravated by alcohol or any other substance abuse. Lead author, Dr. David Eddie, a clinical psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said that while the social, psychological, and interpersonal impact of chronic alcohol or substance abuse is well known, the same is not the case in terms of the burden of chronic ailments that is tolerated by individuals who have successfully recovered from addiction.
Statistics pertaining to alcohol abuse
Unfortunately, drinking alcohol is a socially acceptable habit, making its use rampant. According to the survey results revealed by the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) more than 20 million individuals in the age group of 12 years and above had some kind of substance use disorder (SUD), either related to alcohol or drugs during the past year. Of these, around 15 million individuals were found to be suffering from alcohol addiction.
Further, as per the estimates shared by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), around 88,000 people lose their lives every year due to alcohol-related causes. This makes alcohol the third leading cause of fatalities in the U.S.
Addiction patients more susceptible to chronic ailments
The researchers gathered data from the 2017 National Recovery Survey and created a sample of more than 2,000 American adults recovering from substance use addiction. Out of these 2,000 adults, around 37 percent were diagnosed with health problems like liver disease, hepatitis C, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, HIV or other sexually transmitted infections, and cancer.
The study revealed that COPD, hepatitis C, diabetes, and heart disease were more common among those individuals who were recovering from substance use addiction compared to the general public. Further, the individuals recovering from addiction were 4 to 7 percent more susceptible to developing two or more chronic ailments. This increased risk of developing chronic ailments was aggravated by factors like using an additional substance more than 10 times, growing age, and recovering from addiction at a later stage in life.
Dr. Eddie believes that more research was required to establish the complex connection between substance abuse and chronic ailments. He further added that the health industry needed to look for more effective methods and strategies to help individuals recovering from SUDs and reduce the risk factors of developing chronic ailments.
Seeking help for alcoholism
People become addicted to alcohol or substances due to various reasons. For instance, some individuals fall prey to alcohol and substance use as an outcome of bad choices, poor decisions, and family history. Others get drawn to alcohol to self-medicate anxiety, depression, trauma, or other life-numbing experiences. Whatever the reason, addiction can be treated with a rapid detox program followed by counselling and behavioral therapies. California Detox Helpline offers access to credible rapid detox centers in California to treat any kind of substance addiction.
If you or a loved one is battling an addiction to alcohol or any other substance and is looking for reliable recovery centers in California, get in touch with California Detox Helpline. Call our 24/7 helpline 855-780-2495 or chat online with a representative for further assistance.