ACCELERATION OF AGEING BY DRUG ADDICTION
Addiction is one of the leading problems that face our society today. There have been several studies done in this area most of which have not looked addition in the angle of body growth and diminishing. The studies that have been done only indicate how alcohol dependency has affected the society. The reason I decided to look at this study is that it puts addition into a whole new perspective. The perspective is where we get to look at addition as an agent of premature ageing. As defined in the research, biological ageing allows an individual’s organs to diminish in function chronological while ageing in addiction forces some body functions to shut down before the age-appropriate time.
The research presents various definitions, citing examples of ageing also. One of which is that of reduction of life expectancy by ten years for an average smoker due to not only cancer complication but also due to vascular and pulmonary systems damage. The study seeks to confirm that substance use accelerates the ageing process. It, therefore, proposes that early diagnosis is vital to prevent premature morbidity and mortality.
Genetic factors can enhance hemodynamic reactivity in addition to pulmonary system damage. With the combination of ones’ environmental and psychosocial, addiction phenomenology could enhance the ageing process. Other than what addition does to the body, it is also associated with high-risk behavior that may affect the individual’s health and ultimately accelerating the ageing process. The behavior may include unprotected sex and intravenous drug use which activate the immune and inflammatory systems and in many cases fastening the vasculature ageing. Lifestyle factors could also be a contributor to a high rate of ageing and ageing related diseases. For example, limited health support and follow-up care, insufficient sleep and exercise and even poor nutrition could accelerate the ageing process. The factors could not be directly related, but with a combination of drug use like cocaine and alcohol addiction, they intensify the low quality of life. With the need to sleep so that one can rejuvenate, these factors may not pave for that and as a result faster-ageing process.
Addition causes oxidative stress and cellular ageing. According to the study, oxidative stress happens when oxygen or nitrogen levels increase beyond the levels of the cellular antioxidant. When the levels of oxygen or nitrogen are lower, they have a positive function that promotes the rejuvenation of damaged cells. Drugs that are addictive inhibit the growth of cells, and as a result, ageing becomes more rampant. Exposure to this oxidants, stress hormones and inflammation expedite the ageing process.
In biological ageing, the weight of a brain of a human being depreciates by 5% a decade after the age of 40. However, the effects are the same for a cocaine addict where the volume reduction of the brain is seen twice the percentage of reduction of a healthy brain that takes place every year. A significant decline in cognitive function for the addict is seen over time which is an indicator of ageing. Other than the brain, addition causes irreversible changes in other parts of the body like kidney liver and lungs.
The article concludes with the assurance that addition causes certain biomarkers of changes. It also proposes a further study on the area to assist on how early detection can be done to reduce premature morbidity and mortality.
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