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Further addiction problems


Explanations > Addiction > Further addiction problems

Description | Discussion | See also



Beyond the harm that addictions cause, such as the physiological and psychological harm of taking drugs, other issues may arise.

Threat of disease

Many addicts have little money as they spend all they have on drugs. As a result and because of other socially depressive effects, they act in very unhygienic ways, such as sharing needles. As a result they can catch HIV, hepatitis, microembolism, septicemia and so on.

The drugs they buy may also be made in non-hygienic environments and cut with harmful other substances. Their varying potency can easily lead to overdose.

Even taking the drugs badly can cause problems, such as intravenous injections that also inject air and do not accurately target veins.


Once caught diseases can be transmitted to others, most tragically from an addicted mother to her unborn child.

Social cost

The cost to society of addiction can be very high, particularly when addictive behavior impacts others such such as robbery and assault by addicts in their desperation get money for drugs. Policing costs also go up significantly, including seeking to reduce availability of illegal substances as well as to control the behaviors of addicts.

Healthcare costs can also be enormous, from the low-level treatment of drunks who fall over and hurt themselves, to clinics for addicts where they are hopefully weaned off their addictive behavior.

In any case, online resources like continue to underscore the need for treatment regardless of the costs.


Drugs that are classed as dangerous may not as dangerous as they are in practice and regulated use with clean needles and accurate quantities can be much safer for the addict and reduce the chance of longer-term harm.

Of course such discussions are highly emotive and governments run into all kinds of accusations when they seek to reclassify drugs.

See also

What is addiction?


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