Facts About Drug Abuse And Lung Diseases
A lot of people do not realize that, apart from the brain and heart, the lungs are also one of the organs in the body that suffers from damage due to drug abuse. Today, among the most common drugs being abused and proven to cause problems with the respiratory system are marijuana and methamphetamine.
Effects of Marijuana
There is an ongoing debate regarding the negative effects of long term drug abuse of marijuana on the lungs. In reality, there is no clear timeline as to the number of years before the side effects manifest. Some marijuana smokers use the illicit drug for more than 30 years without showing signs of lung damage while there are individuals who suffered from lung problems, even if they have only smoked marijuana for a shorter period.
Another issue with marijuana drug abuse is the question of whether the plant itself is harmful or if the tobacco leaf wrapping is the one causing the problems. The level of tar also varies among varieties and could contribute to the development of lung disease.
The most common effect of marijuana on the lungs is the overproduction of phlegm due to smoke-induced irritation. For people who already have existing respiratory problems such as asthma, smoking marijuana will exacerbate their condition.
Aside from this, health studies have linked marijuana smoking to increase the risk for lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and COPD (common obstructive pulmonary disease). Pulmonary functions are also compromised. To relieve or alleviate these side effects due to drug abuse, health professionals are encouraging individuals to stop smoking marijuana immediately and seek medical attention to check for any serious respiratory involvement.
Because of the inherent risk of smoking marijuana, people who benefit from this medicinal plant have been advised to eat it instead. The most popular way of eating marijuana is by making cannabutter. This way, you can include marijuana in any of the dishes that use butter as an ingredient and store the leftover butter without any worries. Keep in mind that the amount of marijuana being consumed should be monitored by your doctor to prevent the development of addiction or dependence.
Effects of Methamphetamine
Usually, the drug abuse of methamphetamine is done through injection but there are users who choose to smoke methamphetamine. Basically, the drug is vaporized and the fumes are inhaled using Pyrex tube, aluminum foil or even light bulb. Damage to the lungs has been observed among long-term users and shows up as pulmonary hypertension or emboli . Although addictive, the drug abuse in itself is not dangerous but the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms can be so severe to the point of being fatal.
With the high possibility of lung damage among people who abuse drugs, it is important that you should be able to identify the symptoms of addiction and dependence before it is too late. Even though some of the lung diseases can be treated with the right medication, there are still respiratory illnesses that could compromise your health. Of course, prevention is still better than cure. If you or someone you know has a problem with drug abuse, contact us, and we will help you.