Substance Abuse and Hair Loss

Substance abuse makes its presence known in many ways. Individuals who abuse amphetamines develop “meth mouth.” Alcoholism brings on premature aging and leathering of the skin. A variety of drug and alcohol abuse is seen through hair loss. Drug abuse in particular connected with hair loss, because it is the most effective in causing iron deficiency in the body. Iron deficiency is directly related to overall hair loss, both temporary and long-term.

In a study concerning iron deficiency among drug users, it was determined that anemia is directly associated with the progression of an HIV infection. In addition to this, it was found that iron deficiency is also prevalent in intravenous drug users, whether or not they are HIV-positive. Among female intravenous drug users, iron deficiency was the cause of half of the anemia found in 197 test subjects. Although drug users who are infected with both HIV and Hepatitis C viruses are warned to not take iron supplementation due to possible increased progression of the disease, iron supplements are generally recommended for individuals who have anemia.

Drug and alcohol abuse is conducive to improper nutrition in the body, since substance abusers are less likely to take in a variety of healthy, nutritional food. This lack of nutrition can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body, including iron deficiency, which is very common.

Trost, Bergfeld and Calogeras confirm that iron deficiency is directly associated with developmental delay in children, lowered intellect, and decreased resistance to disease. In addition to this, several studies have proved iron deficiency is related to hair loss. Trost, Bergfeld and Calogras strongly recommend finding the source of the deficiency and correcting it immediately. Differences between men and women are also common. Iron deficiency found in men and postmenopausal women is frequently the result of blood loss, but is more common in menstruating women and can be a result of a variety of factors.

An unreasonable amount of hair loss and hair loss among women can be a result of a drug-induced anemia. Regularly scheduled drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure that proper treatment is given to your employees and family members, and that deficiencies are corrected. Mineral deficiencies can be particularly difficult to correct in diet alone, since most food only contains vitamins. Responsibility and the appropriate care of individuals under your guardianship are important. Contact CMM Technology today: +618-9204-2500.

1. “High Prevalence of Iron Deficiency and Anemia Among Female Injection Drug Users With and Without HIV Infection.” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2011.
2. Trost, Leonid, Wilma Bergfeld, and Ellen Calogeras. “The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss.” JAAD – Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2011.

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