aging

Can You Reverse the Signs of Aging from Drug and Alcohol Abuse?

How old are you, biologically?

You may be 35 years old chronologically, but your body tells the doctor that you are 45 biologically. Biological age is determined by biomarkers of aging, which are age-related changes that take into account an individual’s physical age and predictors of the onset of age-related diseases. Not only does drug and alcohol addiction wreak havoc on your physical appearance, but it triggers the premature onset of age-related diseases as well, such as liver, kidney and cardiovascular disease.

Aging in Drug and Alcohol Addiction

It’s a well-known fact that substance abuse accelerates aging, but how, exactly? Findings from a study show how drug abuse makes you age faster:

Toxic effects on the brain

• Cellular damage in the brain’s dopamine systems
• Rendering individuals more sensitive to stress
• Inflammation in the brain, spinal cord and other nervous tissue
• Circulation disorders affecting the supply of oxygen and nutrients from the blood vessels to the brain

Physiological damage

• Abnormal heart rate, heart attacks, and bacterial infections of the heart valve and vessels
• Bronchitis, emphysema, lung damage, asthma, and other respiratory disorders
• Weakened immune system, rendering individuals susceptible to HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), and sexually transmitted diseases
• Disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms, affecting the individual’s sleep cycle

Behavioral/social effects

• Social reclusion or isolation
• Criminal activities
• Poor lifestyle habits (poor diet, inactivity, insomnia, etc.)

How can I reverse the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on my skin and health?

The toxic effects of substance abuse vary by individual, depending on the length of time and severity of the addiction. While some effects are not reversible, there are still steps you can take to slow down the aging process while you participate in a dual diagnosis treatment program. If your loved ones have expressed concerns about your drinking or drug use, you can prevent further damage to your body by taking the first step to addiction treatment for substance use and dependence. Eliminate the toxins from your body and choose a holistic therapy program that best suits your needs. During and after program completion, it’s important to stay in touch with your substance abuse counselor so that your efforts to get well will not go in vain. Here are a few tips that may help slow down the aging process:

1. Get plenty of rest. Even if you have trouble falling asleep, establish a sleep schedule and stick to it so that you can discipline your body and make it work for you. Exercising or having a sleep routine (such as taking a hot shower or bath before bedtime) might help.
2. Stay hydrated. Drugs and alcohol will dehydrate your system, which makes it more important to drink plenty of water so that your body will function at its best. Water helps your skin look better and younger.
3. Exercise regularly and follow the dietary recommendations suggested by your nutritional therapist
4. Stay plugged in with cognitive-behavioral therapy. From a psychological standpoint, it helps individuals break

Are you or a loved one struggling with drug and alcohol abuse? Prevent further damage with substance abuse treatment at New Method Wellness, a premier dual diagnosis treatment center in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

For more information about dual diagnosis treatment, call 866.951.1824 today!

See why Dr. Phil recommends New Method Wellness!

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