Whether used chronically or sporadically, drug and alcohol abuse will accelerate the ageing process. Drugs and alcohol all cause inflammation, dehydration, malnutrition, and a weakened immune response. These adverse effects cause cognitive decline and cellular damage. These side effects make it near impossible for your cells and tissue to regenerate and grow. Your bones, organs, and skin become the most damaged, leaving most drug abusers feeling and looking older beyond their years.

Most people focus on products externally to stop the ageing process and forget about the importance of what we put in our bodies. Alcohol and drugs that are used on a regular basis will cause more extensive damage than just wrinkles. Abuse will age a person more rapidly compared to someone who is sober. Different drugs age the body more negatively than others. Here is an explanation of some of the worst offenders and how they affect ageing.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is at the top of the list of drugs that cause rapid ageing. This is due to the way it affects your behaviours and internal tissues. The lack of nutrition that goes hand in hand with meth will make a person look sickly, tired, and have sagging skin. Foundation for a Drug-Free World explains, “excessive use of crystal meth will rid your body of vital nutrients and vitamins needed for cellular rejuvenation, repair, and growth. Excessive weight loss due to malnutrition can cause those who frequently use to seem gaunt and can make bones protrude in frightening ways. This loss of nutrient also causes damage to your brain, organs, bones, and skin, leading to various diseases.”


The dangerous rise in heroin abuse is causing thousands of death every year. According to The Recovery Village, “The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in 2008, 14.1 per cent of admissions to publicly funded treatment facilities were related to heroin. In the wake of the nationwide heroin crisis, this number has likely risen. However, these admissions account for only a fraction of the population of people dealing with addiction.”

Heroin is one of the worst drugs you can do if you care even a little about the way you look. First, you will start to lose weight at a rapid pace, and it shows on your face. Most heroin users seem older and tired, due to the sagginess of their skin. They also tend to have a bluish or pale tint to their skin, dark circles, and scabs or scars on their face. Snorting heroin leads to respiratory problems that can make a person look lethargic and much older.

Heroin use seriously compromises the immune system. It only takes one time whether snorting or injecting heroin to depress your bodily system. The effect on your cells and organs is even more significant if you are a chronic abuser. Heroin, cocaine, and meth abuse will lead to a poor diet, and the harmful toxins in the drugs will also increase inflammation.


Cocaine abuse is the main factor in causing dehydration. Without hydration, our skin is more susceptible to dryness, and wrinkles. Dehydration also causes bone loss and increases the risk of organ dysfunction and disease. Studies have proven that cocaine abusers in their 30s showed significant brain changes that are commonly seen in adults over the age of 60. They also showed an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, memory loss, and an increased chance of infection. Brain shrinkage is a normal process of ageing. However, scientists also discovered that cocaine abusers brain shrunk twice that of those who didn’t use cocaine.

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