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A Weak Immune System, Addiction, and Illness

A Weak Immune System, Addiction, and Illness

Our brains and immune systems are closely linked, and the brain actually contains more immune cells than neural wiring. These immune cells protect the brain and let it and the body know when we are sick and need to rest to allow the body to heal during and after illness. We know the immune system changes how we feel, but this close relationship means the immune system also affects thoughts and behaviors. When we are sick, we feel sleepy and lethargic, but we also often feel grumpy or depressed. While dopamine is the brain chemical most affected by drug use and responsible for addiction, the immune cells within the brain are also highly susceptible to the effects of drugs and have a similar role in shaping thought patterns and behaviors. While the immune system influences addiction development, drug abuse, and addiction damage or interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system. This effect of drug abuse and addiction may be unknown to many addicts and their loved ones in Kansas City, making it doubly important for those in recovery to take special care of their recovering bodies.

Alcohol Abuse and the Immune System

The effects of long-term alcohol abuse include liver disease and other organ damage. This damage results largely from the effect alcohol has on the immune system. It triggers alcohol-related autoimmunity, and the body’s immune system attacks its own organs. While alcohol causes the immune system to go into overdrive, when it comes to damaging the body, it suppresses overall immune function. Kansas City residents may be shocked to learn that heavy drinkers are at greater risk for an array of infections and illnesses. According to the National Institutes of Health’s “Medical Consequences: Alcohol and the Immune System” in the early 1900s alcoholics were twice as likely to die of pneumonia as the general public. Improved medical care has closed the gap in this statistic, but alcoholics are still much more susceptible to bacterial pneumonia than non-drinkers. Other drugs have a similar role in the development of illness or the inability of the body to protect itself from infection, and long-term drug use can lead to significant health problems and organ damage.

Ending the Effects of Addiction

If you are a Kansas City resident ready to be done with addiction and the health and personal problems that accompany it, we are here to help. Talk with one of our admissions coordinators to learn how you can regain your health and establish a drug-free life. We are here 24 hours a day to help you find the recovery resources that address all aspects of mental and physical wellness while treating addiction, its causes, and its effects. All calls are free and confidential, so please let us help today.

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