Trying to understand how a substance like cocaine impacts your heart health is best explained through a simple question: Have you ever driven a car at full speed for an extended period of time? It can cause all sorts of diagnostic issues due to the strain and tension it puts on the engine. After all, keeping an engine at full blast is not how cars were created to function. Using one in a manner that pushes it to its limits all the time is a sure way to destroy the engine itself.
Your heart on cocaine is very similar to this analogy. Our hearts are amazingly functional and adaptive. They are the engines of our bodies, pumping the lifeblood that keeps us going. When you abuse cocaine, you are running your body at full blast for an extended period of time. This can result in a wide variety of physical ailments, like heart attacks and life-threatening overdoses.
Can Cocaine Cause Heart Attacks?
Yes, cocaine use leads to a higher risk of heart attacks. Cocaine use constricts the blood vessels, leading to increased blood pressure and strain on the heart. In addition, Cocaine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which can further increase heart rate and blood pressure. These effects increase the likelihood that someone will suffer a heart attack.
Cocaine’s Affect on the Heart
Cocaine can destroy your heart in a number of ways. Known as “the perfect heart attack drug,” people who use cocaine tend to have higher blood pressure readings, stiffer arteries and thicker heart muscle walls – all of which can lead to a heart attack.
Cocaine has been found to tighten blood vessels, making the heart work harder and raise blood pressure. While long-term heart problems can build up in cocaine users, as little as two 100mg lines (a fraction of an ounce) is enough to cause chest pains. In fact, cocaine is the leading cause of drug abuse-related visits to emergency departments, most of which are due to cardiovascular complaints.
Another condition that has become common among those who use cocaine is aortic dissection. This is caused by blood being forced into the lining of big vessels, essentially creating a new channel for blood to flow down. This leads to debilitating chest pains, reduced blood flow to vital organs and, oftentimes, brain and kidney damage.
Cocaine use is also linked to an increased risk of stroke, inflammation of the heart muscle, deterioration of the heart’s ability to contract and aortic ruptures. Needless to say, the damage cocaine can have on the heart can lead to life-threatening heart attacks.
Cocaine and Heart Attacks
Myocardial infarction, or a heart attack, is an extremely common cardiovascular problem that results from consistent cocaine use, and can actually occur with any dose of cocaine, including first-time usage. A majority of hearts attacks that are brought on by cocaine use occur within an hour of using the substance.
The real concern regarding cocaine-induced heart attacks is that they tend to be more prevalent in younger individuals struggling with cocaine addiction. Cocaine itself has been implicated in nearly 25 percent of heart attacks that occur in people under the age of 45.
People who struggle with cocaine abuse often have skewed priorities, poor personal health and terrible nutritional habits. Many of the factors that increase a person’s risk of heart disease and heart attacks are usually directly related to poor health and maladaptive lifestyle choices.
It’s Time to Recover from Cocaine Use and Protect Your Heart
However your cocaine use began, there is no time like the present to face your substance use disorder and begin life anew. With the right help and guidance, you will be able to properly address your struggles with cocaine and begin the path to recovery.
The key to achieving success is to find a treatment facility that is qualified to help you detox your body and prepare you for the behavioral adjustments typically associated with residential care. Approaching your recovery through a holistic lens addresses the underlying reasons for your substance abuse, improves your physical health and helps you discover sustainable ways to prevent relapse.
Regardless of your past, it is important to remember that your future is anything you will it to be. Finding the right treatment center to help you along the way is essential to achieving long-term happiness and personal wellbeing.
Life-Changing Cocaine Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
You only get one life and one body – make the most of yours by putting cocaine addiction behind you. Regardless of where your addiction has landed you, you can stop using cocaine and get your entire life back on track.
At Ranch Creek Recovery, your precise recovery needs are our main priority; your successful recovery and sober re-entry into society is our utmost mission. At our holistic recovery centers – Doreen House and Bass House – our cocaine treatment program delivers all-encompassing methodologies of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential therapies, and preparation to forge the drug free future you desire.
Learn more about our cocaine addiction treatment program to start your journey toward detox and recovery. Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.