Substance Abuse Disorders and a Compromised Immune System
The majority of immunocompromised people suffer from HIV & AIDS. However, there are other causes of the immunocompromised system, including drug and alcohol abuse. Fortunately, specific measures can be taken to prevent being susceptible to coronavirus (COVID-19), which attacks people with a compromised immune system.
How Alcohol Adversely Affects Your Immune System
If you or your teen use alcohol for a prolonged period, it may disrupt your digestive system and likewise damage the cells responsible for secreting enzymes required for digestion. Chronic alcohol abuse also leads to liver breakdown and failure. It also affects the user’s ability to store the necessary amount of proteins.
In line with that, prolonged use of alcohol may eventually lead to a state called autoimmunity. This is whereby the immune system reaches a place where it starts attacking the body tissues. Even worse is when the alcohol begins attacking the white blood cells – the body’s defense system. When your white blood cells cannot function, you’re at a higher risk of contracting and developing even more life-threatening illnesses, such as the coronavirus.
If you exhibit signs of the coronavirus, it’s advisable to check into a rehab nearby. Apart from providing you with a safe quarantine zone, the rehab center will also offer other treatments, such as:
How Drugs Lead to a Compromised Immune System
Both prescription and illicit drugs can compromise your immunity. For starters, chronic cocaine use can cause a wide variety of side effects, including heart attack. Again, it can escalate the risks of overdose, especially when mixed with other substances like alcohol. When snorted, it can damage the nose cartilages that separates your nostrils.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in cigarettes, marijuana, and crack cocaine. This drug often leads to upper respiratory problems as well as a lowered immune system response to infections that may attack that area. Given that coronavirus is a respiratory disease, ensure that your teen doesn’t smoke.
Opioids usually include morphine, heroin, fentanyl, and opium. Many prescription painkillers are also under this class. Injecting these drugs may heighten the risk of viral infections such as hepatitis B and C as well as HIV since most addicts share needles. Snorting and crushing the narcotics may also lead to a high risk of upper respiratory infections, including the throat, the mucous membranes, and the lungs.
Prescription medication can harm your heart by causing adverse cardiovascular effects. They also damage your liver by forcing it to work harder. With chronic use, prescription medication damages your brain cells and other organs of the body, leading to a compromised immune system.
Warning Signs of a Compromised Immunity
If you or your teen struggle with substance abuse disorders, you’ll experience various side effects. Your immune system will gradually and directly suffer harm. The drugs might contribute to a higher risk of infection and a corresponding lower immune response. There are various indicators that your immune system is compromised, including:
- High-stress levels
- Feeling cold frequently
- Wounds taking longer to heal
- Feeling tired every time
- Frequent infections
- Gastrointestinal problems
Contact Venture Academy
These are trying times, and in the wake of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, you do not want it to strike you, your teen, or a loved one with a compromised immune system. The sooner you recover, and your immune system is restored, the healthier and ready you’ll in case you’re infected. Don’t let any addiction compromise your teen’s life. Contact Venture Academy today at 866.762.2211, and we’ll get your teen on the road to recovery.