person holding a paper cutout of human kidneys

Addiction and Renal Health

Substance Use Disorders & Kidney Health

Your kidneys play an essential role in supporting your general health and wellness. These small but mighty organs are responsible for eliminating waste and toxins from the boy by creating urine.

Unfortunately, people facing addiction issues are at an increased risk for developing kidney disease and even kidney failure. In light of National Kidney Month, the experts at North Georgia Recovery Center shed some light on how substance abuse and misuse can negatively impact kidney function.


Your kidneys are responsible for filtering substances from your blood—including alcohol. Your kidneys are also responsible for ensuring that you have the proper amount of water in your body. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse impacts your kidneys’ ability to perform both of these functions, leaving you dehydrated ultimately impacting your kidneys on a cellular level.

Some of the other ways that alcohol abuse can negatively impact your kidneys include:

  • Kidney swelling
  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • Depletion of minerals
  • Higher acidity of fluids in the urinary system
  • Fluid accumulation in the urinary system

Excess alcohol consumption also impacts your liver health; when your livers aren’t working properly, more strain is placed on the kidneys to break down and remove waste from the body.


Opiates, like oxycodone and fentanyl, can also lead to extensive kidney damage when misused and abused. Opiate addiction can damage kidneys in the following ways:

  • Recurring bacterial and fungal infections
  • Protein buildup
  • Rhabdomyolysis caused by an overdose
  • Liver damage

Tobacco Products

It’s no secret that smoking can be harmful to almost every area of your health. However. many people do not realize that smoking and using tobacco products can cause kidney issues. The combination of nicotine and countless other toxins present in tobacco products can cause the following issues that lead to kidney health problems:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Increase in levels of albumin
  • Renal arterial stenosis
  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • Kidney inflammation

Seeking Help for Addiction at North Georgia Recovery Center

The road to recovery starts with taking the first step. Let us walk alongside you on the path to sobriety and wellness. When you choose to get treatment at North Georgia Recovery Center, you can rest assured knowing that you will be treated by licensed therapists in our state-of-the-art facilities. Every one of our team members is certified to address and effectively treat the issues that come along with addiction.

To schedule your free consultation with our team, call (678) 940-7873 today.