Drugs Know The Score
Learning when you are going to have a hypo, recognising the warning signs and knowing what your limits are could save your life, however if you decide to experiment with drugs this becomes difficult to do. You may already know the some of the risks with drugs and how that can affect your health and that there are legal and illegal drugs but you may not be aware of how they can affect you if you have diabetes.
Know the facts!
Different drugs affect people in different ways. It depends on how your body handles it, how much you have and what you are using. Most recreational drugs can be divided into 3 main groups depending on the effect they have on the body.
The information below tells you how different drugs affect your diabetes and this is in addition to the usual effects of the specified drug.
1. Uppers (Stimulants)
Includes drugs such as speed, ecstasy, cocaine and nicotine in cigarettes. They speed up your heart rate, affect the way you think and even how you speak.
Cigarettes - how they will affect your diabetes
- The nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant, smoking will make your heart beat faster and work harder, this can give you problems later on in life. With diabetes you need to take extra care of your heart and circulation. Remember that any drug that changes your rate of metabolism could also affect your blood glucose levels. Regular blood testing of your glucose is important to keep you in control.
Speed - How It Will Affect Your Diabetes
- Borrowed sugar - Although dealers sometimes mix speed with glucose, its not enough to give you the extra energy you need to get through the night - that comes from your own blood glucose reserves. The more active you are, the more vulnerable you are to a hypo.
- Day and Night, because you won’t feel like eating or sleeping, your mealtime routines and insulin injections will be disrupted- bad news for your blood glucose.
Cocaine - how it will affect your diabetes
- Cocaine and crack make your heart beat faster and work harder this can give you problems later in life. Highs and lows – remember, any drug that changes your rate of metabolism could also affect your blood glucose levels. Regular testing is important to keep you in control. With diabetes you need to take extra care of your heart and circulation.
Ecstacy - How It Will Affect Your Diabetes
- Sugar Alert, dehydration puts your body under a lot of stress and the effects can be even worse if you have diabetes, little fluid, continuous dancing, no food and disrupted insulin schedules could send your blood sugar levels out of control.
Hypo Alert, Ecstasy, affects the way you feel, you may be less sensitive to “hypo warning signs- which means you won’t have as much time to react.
Ecstasy makes your heart beat faster and work harder, this can give you problems later in life.
2. DOWNERS (DEPRESSANTS)
Includes alcohol and heroin. They slow down everything including your breathing, heart rate and how you think.
Alcohol - How It Affects Your Diabetes!
- Dead in Bed Syndrome- Evening drinking may mean your body’s still dealing with alcohol after you’re asleep. This makes you vulnerable to a mega hypo- a common cause of young people with diabetes dying. It is essential you eat, during and after drinking alcohol. Chunder Monkey- Vomiting after too much alcohol is never pleasant, but if you have diabetes it may lead to a life threatening condition called Ketoacidosis.
- Beer Goggles, Beware, hypo symptoms can often be mistaken for being drunk or tipsy. Keep a good friend around who can tell if you seem too drunk.
Its not all bad news, If your careful and drink sensibly alcohol will not affect your diabetes control. However in excess it can quickly cause problems. See Our Drinking safely advice
Heroin - How It Affects Your Diabetes!
- Sugar, Heroin can reduce your motivation levels, make you go off your food and disrupt the routines you use to keep your blood sugar check.
Hypo Alert, Heroin affects the way you feel, you may be less sensitive and less likely to react to ‘hypo’ warning sign.
Trnaquillsers - How It Affects Your Diabetes!
- Due to the effect on short- term memory there’s a real risk of forgetting to take your medication or insulin.
- Sleeping in- Tranquillisers can reduce your motivation to get up early and can disrupt routines you use to keep your blood sugar in check.
- Highs and lows remember, any drug that changes your rate of metabolism could also affect you blood sugar levels. Regular testing is important to keep you in control.
Includes cannabis, acid, solvents, and magic mushrooms. They alter the way you hear, see and feel things.
Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug. Made from dried marijuana plants (a weed in many parts of the world) it’s available as dried weed, solid resin and sometimes as oil. Although it’s often seen as harmless, there are a number of risks you should know about, especially if you have diabetes.
Cannabis - How It Affects Your Diabetes!
- Remember because of the effect on short term memory there’s a real risk of forgetting to take your medication or insulin.
- The munchies cannabis can stimulate your appetite, but take care not to eat too many sweet things.
- Sleeping in cannabis can reduce your motivation to get up early and can disrupt routines you use to keep your blood sugar in check
LSD - How It Affects Your Diabetes!
- What’s the time?, you lose sense of time, keeping up with your eating and injecting routines can be difficult. They’re bad news for people who need to stay in control of their environment.
- Injecting insulin with the effects lasting up to 12 hours, you may need to take your insulin or test your blood sugar. This can be very difficult while under the influence and its easy to make a mistake.
- How It Affects Your Diabetes!
- You need to take extra care of your body. With time, the effects of your diabetes can put stress on different parts of your body. Long term abuse of solvents has been shown to damage the brain, liver and kidneys and can add to these risks.
If you CHOOSE recreational drugs remember that they can affect your diabetes, do tell you Diabetes care team in confidence.