The social, physiological, and psychological consequences of drug abuse dominate any discussion of this topic. Do drugs have any negative effects on the environment? There is a real connection between the environment and drug abuse, and it’s crucial to consider the environmental effects of drug abuse and drug production, regardless of whether the substances are legal or illegal.
Production of Drugs
Production of Legal Drugs
Despite its legality, prescription drug production raises ethical and ecological concerns. Pollution and carbon emissions from the production of legal medications are serious problems not only in the United States but worldwide. Prescription drugs also have a profound effect on animals because they are designed to alter certain biological processes. For example, pharmaceutical drug pollution may affect fish hormone levels, reducing their chances of reproducing. Problems might snowball due to a drop in fish populations, which in turn reduces the availability of food for other species.
The spread of drug-resistant microorganisms, which in turn may lead to the emergence of drug-resistant illnesses and infections, is another potential outcome of drug pollution. That’s why scientists are only now considering the need to regulate the prescription drug production industry.
Production of Illegal Drugs
Illegal drug production causes greater environmental damage than authorized drug production. To a large extent, those producing illegal drugs do not care about laws and regulations to prevent drug contamination.
Since staying under the radar of law enforcement is their priority, it is no surprise that the drugs they produce and the tools and equipment they utilize are made in an unlawful and potentially hazardous way. Illegal drugs producers often erode essential resources, degrade ecosystems with toxic wastes, and do other harm without bearing any responsibility for it.
The Environmental Impacts of Some Commonly Abused Drugs
- Deforestation due to cocaine.
Around 29 million individuals are addicted to cocaine worldwide, and its environmental impact is palpable. The United Nations estimated that Colombia harvested 1,120 metric tons of pure cocaine in 2018. Coca, the plant used to make cocaine, has led to the destruction of more than 300,000 hectares.
- Marijuana-caused water stress
Marijuana requires twice as much water as other common plants like tomatoes and grapes. According to estimates by scientists from the California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the water level in certain streams has dropped by as much as a fifth due to unlawful outdoor cultivation.
Seek Addiction Treatment at Mallard Lake Detox Center and End Drug Abuse in Houston Area
Though drug abuse may seem to be a localized problem, it really has far-reaching consequences. The effects of drug abuse may be felt not only by the user and their loved ones but also by society and the environment.
The negative effects of drug use on the environment are only one of many good reasons to give up drugs. Addicted individuals know how drugs can ruin their lives in every way imaginable, including their physical and mental health, social and professional connections, and ability to make ends meet.
You can get help for your drug and alcohol addiction at our rehab center in Houston, Texas. Mallard Lake Detox Center helps patients with moderate to severe addictions, providing various services, including medical detox.