An emergency medical technician using a defibrillator on an unconscious manPhoto by © that slow you down, like heroin and pain medicines, can make you stop breathing.

Heart problems

  • Many drugs that are misused (like cocaine) can cause problems like heart attacks and high blood pressure.

Lung and breathing problems

  • Some drugs can hurt your lungs.
  • Smoking cigarettes can cause diseases such as cancer and emphysema, a painful lung disease.
  • Smoking cigarettes and marijuana can cause lung infections and coughing.
  • Heroin and pain medicines can make you stop breathing.
  • Inhalants can hurt your lungs and airways AND stop your breathing.

Stomach problems

  • Many drugs like cocaine, heroin, and pain medicines can make your stomach hurt and make you throw up.

Kidney problems

  • Drugs like cocaine and heroin can hurt your kidneys.
  • If your kidneys stop working, you can die.

Liver problems

  • Alcohol and inhalant misuse can cause liver disease.

HIV/AIDS and hepatitis

  • Injecting (shooting up) drugs with a needle can hurt your veins.
  • Using dirty needles can give you HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Hepatitis is a serious liver disease.

Most of these problems can cause you to be very sick or die.

NEXT: Drug Use Hurts Brains