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According to the American Psychiatric Association, substance abuse is the excessive use of substances, including alcohol and drugs, that cause an individual to suffer from clinical impairments as well as the dramatic loss of academic, professional, and social skills [1]. Substance abuse also dramatically alters the diet and in most cases, it leads to irregular eating patterns and poor nutrition.
Metabolism refers to the way the body breaks down food and uses it for nutrients and energy. The body cannot store alcohol, so once it is consumed it is quickly broken down to facilitate excretion from the body. Amino acids, in particular, are an essential source of nutrients that are contained in protein-rich foods. High levels of alcohol in the blood may also slow down processes in the body such as digestion, which would normally stimulate the release of vitamins, minerals, sugar, and amino acids from foods so that they can be used by cells for proper growth, development and repair. Alcohol abuse speeds up metabolism due to the fact that the liver has to work hard to break down the alcohol and remove it from the body [3]. The liver also stores excess glucose as fat that can be used as an energy source when it is needed.
Liver damage causes specific enzymes such as bilirubin to be released into the blood and alcoholic steatohepatitis is typically diagnosed if a physician detects elevated levels of liver enzymes in the blood. In addition, the alcohol that is processed by the liver releases toxic substances which activate the immune system, causing it to produce proteins that seek to destroy these substances. Although the body attempts to quickly remove the toxins from the body, if a person chronically abuses alcohol these dangerous substances continue to accumulate and begin to affect cells in various organs. Getting treatment for alcohol abuse and dramatically decreasing the amount of alcohol that is consumed can help reverse the early stages of liver damage. Alcohol abuse not only disrupts the body’s ability to extract nutrients from food and transport them to different parts of the body, but it also causes intestinal damage.
Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach is another harmful habit that can cause blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels. The liver takes about two hours to process the alcohol that is contained in one alcoholic beverage such as a glass of wine or a beer.
Alcohol subsequently affects the brain by causing vision, speech, judgment and reasoning problems.
Type 2 diabetes that develops due to alcohol abuse and weight loss is the result of not eating enough food, which leads to persistently low blood sugar levels and glucose intolerance. Conversely, alcohol abuse that leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes is the result of persistently high blood sugar levels. In general, alcohol abuse can lead to dangerous fluctuations in weight that may eventually cause irreversible organ damage and disorders such as diabetes.
If alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, it can cause poor nutrition for the mother as well as the unborn baby. Drinking alcohol occasionally and in moderation usually does not cause health problems, but consuming large amounts on a regular basis frequently constitutes alcohol abuse and ushers in a number of different health problems.
Take days off from drinking alcohol, even if only small amounts of alcohol are consumed regularly. Keep track of the types of drinks that are consumed as some drinks contain more alcohol than others. Taking recreational, illegal, and even prescription drugs inappropriately can lead to substance abuse disorders.
Smoking is a harmful habit that reduces blood circulation to vital organs, increases the risk of developing heart disease, and speeds up the progression of heart disease in people who already have it [12]. Individuals who smoke heavily may also begin to lose their appetite due to heightened nicotine cravings [13]. Some individuals actually gain weight after they begin smoking because they become more sedentary while smoking, eat higher calorie foods and exercise less [14]. A serious problem that often occurs when an individual stops smoking is rapid weight gain, but this appears to be mostly associated with substituting food for smoking, especially when nicotine cravings begin [15]. To be clear, the risks associated with smoking far outweigh the possible weight gain that may occur if an individual quits smoking. For our discussion, we’ve broadly categorized three types of drugs commonly taken by adolescents and adults. Depressants refer to substances that can slow normal processes in the body and reduce physical activity by altering the manner in which the brain sends and receives signals. Dependence occurs when the body builds up a tolerance to an opiate and an individual’s dose has to be increased in order to experience an effect. Addiction can develop when high doses of an opiate are consumed for an extended period – causing changes in the brain that can result in compulsive cravings and can elicit drug-seeking behavior regardless of the negative effects that the addiction has on a person’s life and health. Although opiates are commonly prescribed to treat pain, their use can quickly translate to misuse due to the sense of euphoria that people tend to experience after taking this type of drug. Side effects such as these can lead to a decrease in appetite, slowed digestion and weight loss, over time.
Heroin abusers may experience a brief period of euphoria that is followed by confusion and drowsiness. Marijuana, as a recreational drug, is among the most commonly used depressants by adolescents [20]. Concentration, hand and eye coordination and reasoning problems may also develop due to marijuana use and this may make it difficult for people to maintain a healthy diet.
The long-term abuse of ecstasy may result in serious muscle tissue damage and the release of muscle enzymes into the blood.
Stimulants such as ecstasy often make people feel as if they have high levels of energy and this may prevent them from realizing that they are hungry or have not been drinking enough liquids. Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that increases blood pressure, suppresses the appetite and can cause regular users to eat fewer balanced meals than those who do not use cocaine [22].
Methamphetamines (speed, crystal meth, meth) share a number of effect on the mind and body with ecstasy, especially in regard to decreases in appetite and memory function.
Hallucinogens dramatically alter the mind and the senses by causing people to experience a variety of sensory hallucinations – often seeing distorted images or objects that are not really there. PCP, LSD, ketamine and magic mushrooms all have the potential to elicit hallucinations or powerful dissociative experiences.
Hallucinogens can affect emotions, concentration, memory and thinking ability, as well as cause distorted vision and hearing.
People who begin to take drugs regularly or experiment with drugs may begin to mix them or combine them with alcohol. Overall, drug abuse alters the mind and body in ways that make it almost impossible to maintain a healthy diet.
Dramatic weight loss due to substance abuse increases the risk of suffering from low blood sugar, heart arrhythmias, electrolyte and mineral imbalances, gallstones and alterations in blood pressure.
Dangerously low blood sugar levels may lead to dizziness, confusion, tremors, trouble speaking or coma, while untreated heart arrhythmias may result in death. Losing significant amounts of weight may also result in unhealthy overeating to circumvent feelings of hunger or distress regarding the weight loss. High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, kidney disease, respiratory problems, cancer and osteoarthritis are among the many long-term health problems that may develop due to weight gain that is concurrent with substance abuse [25].
In general, the abuse of recreational, illicit, and prescription drugs can all result in similarly disastrous long-term effects on health – with dramatic vacillations in body weight, both up and down. Although various types of effective treatments have been established for substance abuse, it remains one of the leading causes of emergency room visits and death. In addition to causing harmful fluctuations in weight, substance abuse can lead to multiple major organ damage, especially to the kidneys and heart [27]. Komiyama M1, Wada H, Ura S, Yamakage H, Satoh-Asahara N, Shimatsu A, Koyama H, Kono K, Takahashi Y, Hasegawa K. Vittoria Matassini M, Krahn AD, Gardner M, Champagne J, Sanatani S, Birnie DH, Gollob MH, Chauhan V, Simpson CS, Hamilton RM, Talajic M, Ahmad K, Gerull B, Chakrabarti S, Healey JS. At Hypnosis Leader, we employ individualized protocol to assist with any type of addiction.
Anyone with an addiction does not have control over what he or she is doing, taking or using. As a pharmacist, I have seen a significant number of patients become addicted to prescription medications.

If for some reason you are a victim of addiction and have lost control  over your life, hypnosis is a very effective way to address this issue. If you want freedom from your addictions, while making vast improvements to your lifestyle, we recommend that you contact us today for a free ten-minute consultation. Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) in Japan have demonstrated that astrocytes help control the strength of connections between neurons. BrunchNews connects you to the latest and trending news from the best news websites around the world.
Remember that the reasons for drug or alcohol use are complex, and there would often be more than one reason why people are using. Explore the concept of universal needs, and read about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. ABC News' Jonathan Karl expressed "regret" over his reporting on Benghazi in a statement on Sunday.
Karl, the network's White House correspondent, recently provoked controversy after his exclusive report that quoted emails which allegedly showed the Obama administration made numerous edits to, and scrubbed information from the talking points on Benghazi. On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Howard Kurtz relayed a statement from the ABC News correspondent: "Clearly, I regret the email was quoted incorrectly and I regret that it's become a distraction from the story, which still entirely stands. In case you missed it, I sincerely regret the error I made describing an email from Ben Rhodes. I should have stated, as I did elsewhere, the reporting was based on a summary provided by a source. Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin argued that most of Karl's reporting was accurate, saying, "It was an important piece of reporting that was in front of the story. This photo released by ABC shows Diane Sawyer, left, and George Stephanopoulos during election night coverage early Wednesday, Nov. In Belgium the product is sold under the name "Rilatine" and in Brazil and Portugal as "Ritalina". Vieira is a research scientist with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. As a result, previously healthy adolescents and adults may begin to experience significant health problems shortly after the substance abuse begins. Cells throughout the body must receive adequate amounts of nutrients, including sugar in the form of glucose to use for energy, growth, and repair from damage. Alcohol does not contain any nutrients, but it does contain ‘empty’ calories that often make people feel as if they are full, especially if they consume large quantities of it. Amino acids are distributed throughout the body in order to boost energy production, cell growth and repair. However, this hinders the liver from breaking down carbohydrates and releasing nutrients, such as glucose (sugar), for cells throughout the body. Unfortunately, when the liver has large amounts of alcohol to process due to alcohol abuse, it does not release the stored glucose and instead begins to swell. Once this condition has been diagnosed, there is a high risk of dying due to liver failure [5]. However, the accumulation of the toxins that are released from the alcohol along with the buildup of proteins that work toward removing the toxins from the body cause inflammation [6], especially when alcohol is consumed regularly. This leads to liver, kidney, heart and brain damage, among other problems such as atherosclerosis [6]. The absence of symptoms often makes people think that their alcohol abuse is not causing them any physical harm, but this is usually not the actual case. Moreover, if liver damage reaches a late stage, refraining from drinking alcohol will slow the progression of the damage.
When the intestines become irritated, digestive processes either slow down or stop and this may lead to a loss of appetite, constipation and an intestinal blockage. Overtime, alcohol abuse may even lead to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes because the liver focuses too much energy on processing and excreting the toxins that alcohol produces [8]. If alcohol has been consumed excessively, it circulates throughout the body until the liver can process it. These types of side effects may cause some individuals to eat less, forget to eat, overeat or eat foods that they would normally avoid. The body’s intolerance to glucose (sugar) develops because the liver avoids utilizing glucose in order to continuously process the high amount of alcohol that has been consumed. Overeating means fats and carbohydrates are being consumed faster than the body can break them down and excrete the waste.
For instance, once an individual has been diagnosed with diabetes, this becomes a lifelong condition that must permanently be treated. More specifically, consuming alcohol while pregnant can lead to physical and mental problems as well as acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the newborn child [10]. In addition, eat snacks that are low in salt and fat in between drinks as this slows down the body’s absorption of alcohol. This deters the development of alcohol abuse and addiction patterns, as well as the onset of organ damage associated with habitual alcohol consumption. For the purposes of this guide, a drug is defined as a chemical substance that alters the activity of the brain as well as processes in the body [1].
Furthermore, the fact that the rates of cigarette smoking tend to be higher in the demographic of alcohol and substance abusers makes its discussion here particularly germane. This, however, is not healthy weight loss as a person may simply skip one or more meals and decide to smoke instead. Furthermore, with support and discipline many people have successfully quit smoking without experiencing significant weight gain. Alcohol, marijuana (cannabis) and opiates such as morphine, codeine, heroin, methadone, hydrocodone (e.g. Methadone is even prescribed for some people who are addicted to heroin in order to help them overcome their opiate dependence or addiction [17]. If the person abruptly stops taking the opiate, serious withdrawal symptoms may be experienced. It is this feeling of euphoria that generally leads to opiate dependence and addiction in many people [18]. In addition, opiate dependence and, especially, addiction can often result in dramatic weight loss when people begin to engage in drug seeking behavior more often than eating properly. Long-term problems that may arise from marijuana use include depression and organ damage, especially if marijuana is taken with alcohol.
Stimulants can alter certain mental processes, with people often failing to recognize the homeostatic urges of hunger or dehydration.
A serious problem that is associated with the purchase of ecstasy involves not knowing whether the drug is made up of a pure product or a combination of other harmful substances. Cocaine abuse also inhibits the ability to gauge the amount of fatty foods that are being eaten when feelings of hunger become dire [22]. Drug seeking behavior, which commonly occurs due to cocaine abuse, can also reduce the appetite thereby causing individuals to forget to eat properly and eventually begin to lose weight.
These types of hallucinations often occur in conjunction with markedly abnormal behavior, anxiety attacks and paranoia.
People who take large amounts of ecstasy or marijuana may also report episodes of hallucination.
Mixing drugs with other drugs or alcohol compounds the individual risks inherent to each substance – risks like breathing problems, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, syncope (fainting), abnormal or dangerous behavior and ultimately, the risk of overdosing or dying. Poor nutrition leads to serious health problems, and many diseases that may develop secondarily due to drug abuse also have associated weight changes.
If the heart begins to beat too rapidly, a side effect of certain stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamines, the heart may go into sudden cardiac arrest.
Repeated starvation, which may result due to drug seeking behavior and other changes in mental processes that often occur concurrently with substance abuse, leads to the release of neurotransmitters that allow people to eat well beyond the satiation point by overriding their feelings of hunger.
This, in part, appears to be because people tend to avoid seeking treatment for at least 10 years after their substance abuse has started [26].
People who have health problems such as arthritis or diabetes tend to worsen their symptoms and even speed up the progression of their condition through drug abuse, with any associated weight changes potentially compounding the damage done. While not an exhaustive list, a withdrawal syndrome can encompass: heavy sweating, pain throughout the body, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and intense cravings.

Molecular evidences of non-ADH pathway in alcohol metabolism and Class III alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH3). Pattern of alcohol consumption and its effect on gastrointestinal symptoms in inflammatory bowel disease. Anthropometric and health-related behavioral factors in the explanation of social inequalities in low birth weight in children with prenatal alcohol exposure.
Cognitive consequences of cannabis use: comparison with abuse of stimulants and heroin with regard to attention, memory and executive functions.
Evolution of clinical diagnosis in patients presenting with unexplained cardiac arrest or syncope due to polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. Psychotropic drugs induced weight gain: a review of the literature concerning epidemiological data, mechanisms and management. Emergency department visits involving nonmedical use of selected prescription drugs – United States, 2004–2008. Perhaps, initially, there was a need for these type of medications (for example: pain-killers, anti-anxiety, appetite suppressants, medications for ADHD). We have developed a practical and successful hypnosis protocol that can help you get your life back. Kazi Anam is a leading certified consulting hypnotist, best-selling author, pharmacist, health coach, researcher, executive life coach and a motivational speaker. He utilized the amazing principles of hypnosis to stay at the top of his class and subsequently became a very successful professional and entrepreneur.
Kazi Anam, CEO and founder of Hypnosis Leader Inc., was recently seen on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX network affiliates around the country as an expert guest on the America's PremierExperts® TV show.
In contrast, the male pelvis remains on the same developmental trajectory throughout a lifetime. He said that ABC News had reviewed emails in question, but it was later revealed that the quotes were actually from a source claiming to have summarized the emails, and were misleading. In a move that Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall characterized as "epic," CBS News' Major Garrett said that it was congressional Republicans who fed the misleading quotes to Karl. She has done clinical and laboratory research on diseases, cellular functioning and nutritional supplements.
Poor diet and nutrition, which often occurs secondarily to substance abuse, can lead to brain damage, organ damage, and different types of diseases [2, 3]. Large amounts of alcohol damage the intestinal tract, which then decreases the body’s ability to absorb and utilize vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food that is eaten [4]. High levels of alcohol in the body cause both the intestines and the liver to assign precious cellular resources to the removal of alcohol. When fat cells accumulate in the liver due to alcohol abuse, a phenomenon known as alcoholic steatohepatitis may also develop.
Early signs of liver damage or disease include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue. This process is slowed when there is food in the stomach, but if a large amount of alcohol is consumed, it can still reach the bloodstream, liver, and the brain much more quickly than the nutrients contained in the food. Forgetting to eat properly can quickly lead to weight loss, but overeating can also lead to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes and other conditions such as heart disease [9]. This leads to high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood that the liver cannot immediately process because it is already trying to remove the excess alcohol.
Similarly, late stage liver disease that develops due to alcohol abuse is irreversible, although refraining from drinking alcohol can slow down the progression of the disease. If alcohol or drugs are consumed during a pregnancy, the mother’s poor diet may hinder the proper growth and development of the baby and cause low birth weight [11].
Drugs often affect people differently, but the harmful side effects that most drugs cause may lead to irreversible health problems, damage and in some cases, death. Although the individual is losing weight, the body is not being provided with an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals and this often results in unexpected health problems. Avoiding smoking altogether is one of the best ways to prevent unhealthy weight loss or gain. If this happens a person may forget to eat properly, begin to lose weight and develop dangerously low blood sugar.
To mitigate this uncomfortable period of withdrawal, people frequently undergo medically supervised detoxification as an initial step of substance abuse treatment.
Similar to other drugs in this class, its users may display erratic drug seeking behavior, altered eating habits and weight loss if it is taken regularly [19]. Long-term opiate abuse also leads to extensive organ damage and disease, which is typically associated with weight loss.
Most people experience short-term memory problems that may become permanent if a prolonged period of drug abuse starts. When stimulants are abused, this effect could result in weight loss and other, more lethal health consequences. The relatively long acting effects of ecstasy can elevate body temperature, and an accompanying state of dehydration can become quite serious, if not fatal.
The cessation of prolonged cocaine use leads to an increase in appetite and subsequent weight gain in some individuals.
Each of these side effects may result in unhealthy eating habits, weight loss and, secondarily to depression, even weight gain over time. This array of issues, particularly in those who abuse them long-term, can lead to loss of appetite and diminished nutrition and, over time, contribute to unhealthy weight loss. Even if an individual is resuscitated, major organs may become seriously damaged due to cardiac arrest [24]. Due to this mismatch between available treatment, and the people who are in desperate need of it, substance abuse continues to be a major public health issue.
Even relatively mild symptoms such as these can make it quite difficult for people to overcome their substance abuse without the guidance of medical and treatment professionals.
One can be addicted to recreational drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroine as well as certain prescription medications.
If you are a professional working with a young person using drugs, your interpretation of their use could impact on your identification of their substance related needs. Her focus is helping people make dietary and lifestyle changes that prevent, cure or improve health conditions. This condition may be asymptomatic during the early stages of liver damage, but flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting and a loss of appetite usually occur during the late stage of liver damage [5].
Sometimes these types of symptoms may be mistaken for other health problems such as a stomach bug or virus, but for people who abuse alcohol it may actually be the first sign of liver damage. As a result, obesity in combination with uncontrolled sugar levels can eventually also cause type 2 diabetes [9]. This guide will focus on commonly abused drugs that negatively impact people’s lives and health.
Individuals who begin to abuse drugs may eventually suffer from permanent impairments in brain activity as well as physical changes that lead to dramatic weight loss and poor health. As with other psychoactive drugs, changes in mental processes can a host of negative influences on a healthy body weight, especially abused for long periods of time.
Similar to cocaine cessation, the cessation of methamphetamines after a prolonged period of abuse has, in some cases, lead to a rebound appetite increase with resultant weight gain. On a more serious end of the spectrum, acute alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal can result in dangerous seizures and even death. In a healthy body, an assortment of amino acids and other nutrients are needed to avoid organ damage and disease.
However, a number of individuals who take marijuana experience a subjective increase in appetite that is frequently referred to as the munchies.
For these and a number of other reasons, it is one’s best interest to seek professional assistance for the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse in order to prevent or address serious health problems, and to help guarantee a positive course of recovery.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.

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