Apart from the severe chemical reactions induced in the human body by the abused substance, other health issues may appear: HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, cardiovascular diseases or even cancer. The occurrence of infectious diseases among addicts is vast, with 1 in 3 AIDS deaths in the US being related to drugs.
A separate, although crucial, category of conditions are mental illnesses, for which there is a biunivocal relationship: some psychiatric diseases, like anxiety or depression, lead to drug abuse. Substance abuse, at the same time, can worsen the symptoms and create new problems for the patient.
In addition to the harm that addicts do to their own body, their behavior may affect other people as well. For instance, fetal exposure to opioids may induce the withdrawal syndrome in newborns and have lasting consequences on the child’s development.