Is Occasional Drug Use Harmful?

Drugs are bad. We all know this.

But at one point or another, we’ve all probably wondered, “Is occasional drug use actually that bad?”

With both mental and physical health functioning as the cohesive yin-and-yang of our bodies, it’s imperative to understand the implications of occasional drug use.

From cocaine to marijuana, the issues with recreational drug use extend far beyond what most people may really think.

Most people begin using drugs when they’re young. From the occasional joint or drink with friends, most who become addicted to drugs actually start as occasional drug users.

As with anything we do, the side effects from taking drugs may begin to have an impact on a person’s body or psyche. From the dangers of a continuing a cocaine addiction to smoking and driving drunk, the harsh reality of occasional drug intake can slowly creep into a person’s reality before they realize it.

The common misconception that using a drug one time isn’t that big of a deal is anything but true. In fact, it’s the one time use of drugs that can lead to Pandora’s box being opened for many whose drug use stimulates their addiction. 

Our Differences Matter 

Because we are all different, our reactions to things like drugs can be completely variable as well. For one person, a hit of coke can be exciting, but for another, it can immediately lead to a heart attack.

Not only do our physical differences matter, but our mental ones do as well. People who have a genetic predisposition to addiction versus someone who doesn’t will react to taking drugs differently.

Sure, both instances are equally not ideal. But a person who has a higher likelihood of being addicted to something is going to struggle harder to not begin using drugs more and more.

How Using Leads to Addiction 

Addiction begins unintentionally. How does this happen?

As you try a drug once, and then maybe twice, the part of your brain that grows from habitual progression is the dorsal striatum. Every time you partake, stimulation inhibits a psychological connection. As this occurs, dopamine is released into your receptors, responding to an associated feeling allowing you to “feel better” as you do it.

Through its progression, the addiction forms as your body produce less natural dopamine, making you reliant on its release during drug use instead.

Unaware of Health Risks

People who experience certain physical or mental triggers when taking drugs may not realize that these signs can be part of a larger problem.

From heart flutters to extreme paranoia, drug users may attribute these side effects as nothing more than casual results from the drug they’ve taken, when in fact these can be precursors or outcomes of something much greater.

The unawareness of the health risks we’re putting our bodies under when we take drugs can result in detrimental outcomes in both the long and short term. Occasional drug users are especially vulnerable, as their unfamiliarity and lack of awareness of their health can lead to paralyzing consequences.

Bodily Functions  

Not only does it become more tempting to do a particular drug more when you partake occasionally, but experimentation becomes more likely too.

When you become used to using more than one drug regularly, your body begins developing a tolerance to the chemicals you’re putting into your body. From this, organs like your liver must work harder to keep your blood clean and regulated. 

Accidental Overdose 

As people begin taking more and more drugs, their bodies begin to rely increasingly on the stimulant.

This means that people will accidentally overdo the drugs they put into their system, and this ultimately suppresses their body’s natural functions and shuts their organs down.

For occasional drug users, there’s also the risk that they accidentally overdose because they’re in completely foreign territory when it comes to the drugs they’re taking. Their intake of the drug depends on outside factors that aren’t regulated, such as how much other drug users are taking in. This can lead to the user accidentally taking too much.

What’s the Verdict?

Weighing everything above, it is safe to conclude that occasional drug use is not only harmful but damaging in more ways than it isn’t.

While the intrigue and desire to do drugs have always permeated culture, hopefully, modern understanding of what happens to both one’s mental and physical health will help change the trajectory of occasional drug use.


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2 Response Comments

  • Alex | BigBlueWaves Wellness  October 21, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    This knowledge is crucial for our youngsters! Drugs are much more dangerous than presented in today’s world.

    They are readily available and popular but the consequences of ‘recreational’ can be terrible. As you said, it often leads to more serious addictions.

    I would like to underline the role of a loving and supporting family in keeping the ‘kids’ away from drugs and other dangerous substances/ behaviors.

    Best wishes and keep it up!


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