Drug addiction starts small but often grows over time to be out of control. If you need money to support a drug habit, you may turn to dealing or other crimes to get the cash. This often leads to criminal charges and a record that can affect your ability to get a job or live a successful life once you are clean. While you may have been unaware of how addictive the drug could be when you starte d it, it is never too late to learn more about what you are dealing with and how to get help.

Marijuana

The most commonly used illicit substance in the country, marijuana can affect learning, coordination, the ability to focus and short-term memory. It may also increase the risk of psychosis, harm the lungs and increase the heart rate to dangerous levels. Per the National Institute of Drug Abuse, those who begin using marijuana in their teen years are more likely to become addicted than those who begin using as adults.

Painkillers

Drugs that are prescribed in a safe way to numb pain after medical procedures or injuries can turn deadly when an addiction is developed. Over 1.8 million people in the United States face a painkiller addiction to medication such as Oxycontin, codeine and Vicodin. If you are using painkillers, you may not even notice that there is a problem until you try to discontinue your use. Whenever painkillers are taken without a prescription, drug addiction is an extra risk.

Alcohol

Excessive consumption of alcohol can affect the pancreas and liver, and may damage the heart and the brain. In some cases, chances of developing cancer are increased by excessive alcohol use. The hippocampus, cerebral cortex and the cerebellum are all structures of the brain that are at risk when alcohol is used. These structures affect movement coordination, memory and learning, and decision-making and problem-solving abilities.

Methamphetamine/amphetamines

Alertness and euphoria make amphetamines popular for drug users. These drugs can be injected, snorted, smoked or taken orally. The results of using methamphetamines are particularly harmful and long-lasting, and may lead to seizures, serious heart problems and high body temperatures. Brain function is drastically altered if these drugs are used for long periods. Verbal learning and motor skills are impaired, and cognitive and emotional problems are common in regular users.

What is in store for your future?

If you deal with a drug addiction and have been charged with a drug-related crime, your first concern is keeping your record clean to protect your future. You may benefit by discussing your case with an attorney who can aid in finding the right solution for your problem.