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What Illegal Drugs Cause Heart Attacks?

Man holds hand to his chest while walking outside, he looks as if he is in pain. If you wonder what illegal drugs cause heart attacks, you may be surprised. Opium, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD are all commonly abused drugs that damage the heart. However, cocaine is a stimulant that causes serious heart issues like heart attacks. This illicit drug is often used at clubs and large social gatherings. Methamphetamine, or meth, is also abused and damages the heart. So are these the worst drugs for your heart? 

Which Drug Has the Greatest Cardiovascular Risk?

Cocaine and the heart do not walk hand in hand. If you are debating trying the drug or questioning what illegal drugs cause heart attacks, cocaine plays a significant role in harming heart health. Cocaine activates the body’s nervous system, signaling the organs to function. One chemical that responds to stress and pleasure is called norepinephrine, a hormone and a messenger. Norepinephrine affects heart rate and blood pressure.    A dramatic increase in heart rate and blood pressure initiates a heart attack. The other immediate effects of cocaine include increased body temperature, constricted blood vessels, and coronary spasms tightening the heart muscles. Cocaine abuse can lead to these side effects, weaken the heart, and cause injury to the arteries. 

Can Drugs Cause an Enlarged Heart?

Cardiac hypertrophy results from the muscle walls of the heart growing unhealthily thick. Where the heart is enlarging may depend on the severity of the condition. Exercise can cause the heart to enlarge since oxygen is being heavily pumped from the lungs to the rest of the body through the blood.   However, if the heart is enlarged due to substance abuse, like abusing cocaine, the heart is at significant risk. This is because the blood does not easily circulate through the body or around the heart. As a result, scar tissue build-ups within the heart and the arterial walls, and blood pressure increases intensely, causing heart disease or heart attacks. 

Signs of Heart Damage From Drugs Like Methamphetamine 

What illegal drugs cause heart attacks? Well, we know that cocaine is more than a primary suspect. Cocaine enters the bloodstream and activates a protein called CaMK, which produces calcium build-up in the tissue of the heart. Also, methamphetamine is an illicit drug that raises the potential of experiencing a heart attack. Reasons include cardiac remodeling tissue, enhancing atherosclerotic plaque formations, and directly affecting the vascular tissue.    Methamphetamine exposure may lead to cardiovascular disease due to catecholamine toxicity responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response. Cocaine and meth have hazardous side effects, especially on the heart. A person must seek medically monitored drug detox to be guided through the withdrawal process and prevent long-term heart damage. How do drugs affect the heart?

  • Chest pain
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmias
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Weakens the heart muscle
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels
  • Enlarged heart muscle – which increases the risk of heart attack

Now that you know what drugs can do to your heart, it’s crucial to avoid long-term, life-threatening risks. A person should seek cocaine treatment or other illicit drug treatment to prevent a heart attack, especially if the drug has been abused for an extended period of time. 

Addiction Treatment at Evoke Wellness at Miramar

There is a difference between drug abuse and drug misuse, but when a person is abusing a substance, health issues escalate. At our Florida wellness center, our experienced medical staff is here to help you through the treatment and recovery process. We want to see you safely and effectively get through withdrawals and achieve your recovery goals.    Contact a specialist at Evoke Wellness by calling 833-819-6066 and asking about our intensive inpatient program to get started today!    Related Readings:  Is Sugar as Addictive as Cocaine? How to Stop Craving Drugs