Total Impact Africa. The Mental Adjustment Program.
Providing a platform for deviant youths in Cameroon to be professional
guardians of ethics, integrity and honesty in society
Drugs are chemicals that affect the body and brain. Different drugs can have different effects. Some
effects of drugs include health consequences that are long-lasting and permanent. They can even
continue after a person has stopped taking the substance.
There are a few ways a person can take drugs, including injection, inhalation and ingestion. The effects
of the drug on the body can depend on how the drug is delivered. For example, the injection of drugs
directly into the bloodstream has an immediate impact, while ingestion has a delayed effect. But all
misused drugs affect the brain. They cause large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps
regulate our emotions, motivation and feelings of pleasure, to flood the brain and produce a “high.”
Eventually, drugs can change how the brain works and interfere with a person’s ability to make choices,
leading to intense cravings and compulsive drug use. Over time, this behavior can turn into a substance
dependency, or drug addiction. Today, more than 7 million people suffer from an illicit drug disorder,
and one in four deaths results from illicit drug use. In fact, more deaths, illnesses and disabilities are
associated with drug abuse than any other preventable health condition. People suffering from drug and
alcohol addiction also have a higher risk of unintentional injuries, accidents and domestic violence
The good news is: Substance use disorders are treatable.
What Is Drug Abuse?
Clinically known as substance use disorder, drug abuse or addiction is caused by the habitual taking of
addictive substances. Drugs include alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens and opioids. Substance use
disorder is a disease, causing people to compulsively use drugs despite the consequences.
Side effects of drugs may include:
- A weakened immune system, increasing the risk of illness and infection
- Heart conditions ranging from abnormal heart rates to heart attacks and collapsed veins and
blood vessel infections from injected drugs
- Nausea and abdominal pain, which can also lead to changes in appetite and weight loss
- Increased strain on the liver, which puts the person at risk of significant liver damage or liver
- Seizures, stroke, mental confusion and brain damage
- Lung disease
- Problems with memory, attention and decision-making, which make daily living more difficult
- Global effects of drugs on the body, such as breast development in men and increase in body
temperature, which can lead to other health problems.