A man grips his chest over his heart in pain due to meth effects on the heart.

How Meth Affects the Heart

In today’s society, the only drug we ever seem to hear about is opioids. From painkillers to heroin, every news outlet and media source focuses on the impact that the opioid crisis has had on our neighborhoods and how it is affecting every area of the country.

While this is factual, there are still a number of other substances destroying people’s lives on a daily basis. Primarily, methamphetamine abuse has seen a significant rise around the country over the past two years.

In both rural and suburban areas, meth addiction has spiked due to the emphasis on opioid addiction, forcing the illegal drug game to push a new product. That is where meth has stepped in, flooding multiple states around the country with purer product and cheaper highs.

In some areas, meth has been sold for as little as five dollars to hook new addicts into a high that is as dangerous as opioids.

Understanding how meth use and addiction impacts your heart is important to know. It can open your eyes to the dangers of the substance and shed light on the deadly effects of this old drug that’s carving new paths around the nation.

Can Meth Damage the Heart?

Without question, meth can severely damage every organ within your body, from the lungs to the brain to the heart. Multiple studies have shown the profound impact that meth use has on the cardiovascular system, including:

  • Tachycardia or rapid heartbeat
  • Hypertension or elevated blood pressure
  • Cardiac ischemia or poor blood flow to the heart
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure

From minor issues to catastrophic medical emergencies, making the decision to use meth is no different than playing a game of Russian roulette. Every study conducted on the drug has made a definitive point about methamphetamine use: There is no “safe” amount of meth that can be ingested.

Because of the variable chemicals that are typically included in a “cooked” batch of meth, (including battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel and antifreeze), putting this substance in your body is no different than drinking a toxic cocktail of whatever chemicals are sitting under your kitchen sink right now.

If that sounds like a completely insane notion, you’re right, but it is genuinely no different than deciding to ingest meth. (1)

Meth Effects on the Heart

Given what chemicals are in meth, it’s no surprise that anyone struggling with a meth addiction is subjecting their body to increasing damage. But understanding just how bad meth can affect your heart is a staggering reality.

Cardiovascular disease represents the second-leading cause of death among meth addicts, following only accidental overdoses. This is because meth causes your blood vessels to constrict and spasm, induces dangerous spikes in your blood pressure and rewires your heart’s electrical system entirely.

Eye-Opening Findings on How Meth Affects the Heart

Thanks to extensive research on how meth addiction affects an individual’s health, we now know the following impacts of meth abuse:

  • Meth users tend to show evidence of cardiovascular disease at greater intensity and at younger-than-typical ages
  • Meth addiction typically induces a dangerous level of blood pressure that negatively affects the heart and the arteries in the lungs
  • Meth use can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm, called arrhythmia
  • Meth addiction can change the structure of the heart muscle, or cardiomyopathy (2)

So, if you were wondering if meth abuse can negatively impact your heart or even cause a heart attack, you need only look at the mountain of evidence pointing to a plain and simple fact: Meth use has been definitively connected to both acute and chronic heart issues regardless of your age.

If you are minimizing the negative impact of your meth addiction because you don’t see the flashy headlines that are attributed to the opioid crisis, it is important to look at a recent report conducted by American Heart Association, which stated:

“When people look at overdose deaths from drugs, opioids are a much bigger problem. But what people are overlooking is the fact that meth users, while they’re not overdosing, they’re dying of other things. They’re dying of heart attacks; they’re dying of heart failure.” (3)

Individualized, Holistic Meth Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we know that undoing the damage of meth addiction can be messy, extremely
uncomfortable and some of the hardest work you do in your life. But, your addiction must end to have a
life worth living.

At our holistic recovery center, our meth 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 meth addiction treatment program to start your journey toward detox and recovery, or contact us today. We’re here to answer your questions and help you get started.



1) AHA/ASA Journals. Methamphetamine Use and Cardiovascular Disease. Accessed February 6, 2020. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.312461.

2) National Institute on Drug Abuse. What is methamphetamine? Accessed February 6, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine.

3) American Heart Association. Meth and heart disease: A deadly crisis we don’t fully fathom, report says. Accessed February 6, 2020. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/08/21/meth-and-heart-disease-a-deadly-crisis-we-dont-fully-fathom-report-says.