Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Cardiovascular and Drug Abuse: The Link between Excessive Drug Abuse and Death

It cannot be denied that cardiovascular and drug abuse are one of the leading causes of death not just in the country but for the rest of the world as well. In fact, in the United States alone, about 71 million people are diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases. And what’s alarming is that serious and fatal condition of cardiovascular diseases is caused by drug abuse.

Yes, aside from other physical and mental effects, drug abuse can lead to cardiovascular diseases. It affects both the heart and the brain, causing serious and complicated diseases. Here are the following symptoms of various cardiovascular diseases that are sometimes caused by excessive consumption of illegal drugs.

Atherosclerotic Disease

Unfortunately, the symptoms of the atherosclerotic disease vary greatly depending on the gender of an individual. For example, males experience chest pain while females are more likely to have shortness of breath, unexplainable body fatigue, and discomfort in the chest area. The atherosclerotic disease affects the blood vessels of your cardiovascular system the most. You will also experience limited control in your limbs and legs because the blood vessels in this part of your body are already narrowed. If you experienced pain in your back or even in upper abdomen, jaw, neck, and throat, it could be a sign that you have atherosclerotic disease.

What’s alarming is that for most people, unless they experience heart attacks or stroke, they wouldn’t be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it is very crucial that you keep on monitoring your body and if you experienced any of the symptoms above, you should talk to your doctor about it right away for an evaluation of your condition.

Heart Arrhythmias

Heart arrhythmia is a cardiovascular condition that causes your heart to pump differently and have abnormal heartbeat compared to a normal person. It’s either your heartbeat is too slow or too quick. If you have this kind of cardiovascular condition, you can experience constant flickering in your chest area. If your heartbeat is too fast, it is called tachycardia while on the other hand, if your heartbeat is too slow, it is called bradycardia. Just like the previous cardiovascular condition, you can also experience chest pain, and you’re always out of breath. It also includes frequent dizziness and even fainting.

Heart arrhythmias is one of the most common cardiovascular conditions that can occur both in men and women. You need to make sure that you visit a hospital as soon as you notice one of the symptoms above.

Heart Defects

There are also some people who are born with heart defects. Unlike the aforementioned cardiovascular conditions, the symptoms of heart defects are visible upon birth. It includes cyanosis or the abnormal blue or pale gray color of the skin, inflammation in the legs, abdominal areas, and even eyes. Infants find it hard to get the nourishment that they need from their mothers during breastfeeding because of their shortness of breath that will eventually lead to poor weight gain.

But less serious congenital heart defects are sometimes diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood of an individual. You can notice an individual with heart defects because they can’t perform very well in recreational and physical activities. They are always out of breath, and it’s very easy for them to get tired in just a short period. Inflammation in ankles, feet, and hands are also observable. While this kind of cardiovascular condition is less serious, you should not ignore and confirm if you have a heart defect that wasn’t yet detected because it can get worsen as time goes.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a cardiovascular condition that is caused by the heart muscles weakening inside of your body. It can be an inborn or developmental cardiovascular disease. The symptoms of this condition include the following: shortness of breath, a constant urge to rest, inflammation of the feet, legs, and ankle, unexplainable body fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, and fainting.

Treatment and Medication

The treatment for the cardiovascular diseases varies on the type of condition that you have. For example, after diagnosing your condition, the doctor will most likely prescribe some antibiotics to control the condition. But generally speaking, here are the following options in treating cardiovascular diseases:

Major lifestyle changes

Your doctor may ask you to change your diet or engaged yourself in exercising for at least 15-30 minutes a day. In that way, you can rest assured that the situation will not get worse. Aside from that, if you are a smoker, you may have to quit if you wanted to recover from your cardiovascular disease fully and as for your alcohol intake, excessive consumption can also contribute to the problem so you might want to consider limiting your alcohol intake now.


If you have tried switching to a healthier lifestyle, but the cardiovascular condition keeps on getting worse, then the doctor will prescribe appropriate medication to regulate your disease. The medication that you will have is highly dependent on the type of cardiovascular disease that you have. Therefore, you can expect expensive treatments and medications for complicated and serious heart defects.


Surgery is the last resort in treating cardiovascular disease. The doctor will recommend a particular medical procedure or surgery if it happens that the medications aren’t effective to your body. Once again, the surgery varies on the type of cardiovascular disease that you have. Its main goal is to suppress the spreading damage to your cardiovascular system at least.

Drug Abuse and Cardiovascular Effects

Now, we’ve mentioned above that excessive consumption of illegal drugs would eventually lead to various cardiovascular diseases. Here are the following drugs that resulted in major heart diseases.’


About 15% of the United States population had been reported to have used cocaine once or twice. Excessive usage of cocaine will eventually lead to premature heart attacks, and even one researcher had referred cocaine to perfect heart attack drug. It’s because cocaine causes high blood pressure, it stiffens the arteries, and it also thickens the cardiac muscle that can block the blood your body needs.


Similar to psychostimulants, opioids also contributes a lot in having cardiovascular diseases. It’s because drug usage can decrease the level of the sympathetic signal in your body that is responsible for the rest and digest of your internal organs. Heroin, codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone are just one of the examples of opioids. Excessive usage will eventually lead to slower heart rate or bradycardia, abnormal heart rate or arrhythmia, and hypertension.


As you may know, one of the most common drugs that are used by many and teens as young as ten years old is marijuana. The easy access to the cannabis enables them to smoke pot even on school premises. Marijuana drug abuse can also contribute to various cardiovascular diseases such as acute coronary syndrome. Marijuana users are more likely to experience high blood pressure and increased heart rate. High doses can also trigger the parasympathetic signaling of the body and a huge drop in blood pressure and heart rate as well. It would cause the heart to be lacking blood and oxygen that it needed. A study had also proven that effects of cardiovascular diseases could occur in the first hour after using the cannabis triggering a heart attack.

Drug Rehabilitation for prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases

If you are a drug user, and you wanted to avoid the aforementioned cardiovascular effects of drug abuse, you should consider entering a drug rehabilitation center. If you find it hard to limit your drug usage and alcohol consumption, and you had been already diagnosed with the cardiovasular disease, regardless of the severity of the condition, you should make sure that you take action right away. Here are the following benefits of drug rehabilitation facilities that you should consider first.

They provide you with the right diet

Staying inside a drug rehabilitation center can help you control what you are eating. Since they know the right foods that your body needs, even if you decline to have them, you will have to convince yourself to nourish your body with the right foods that can combat the cardiovascular disease that you have. You have no control in foods that you are going to it. Professionals are provided with the information about your diet considering your condition, thus, making sure that you are switched to healthier lifestyle once you enter the facility.

They make sure you take the medications on time

If the doctor had already prescribed medication that can help improve your cardiovascular disease, you are required to take it on time with the help of the professionals inside the facility. They will monitor your drug intake, and ensure that you get proper medication compared when you are at home when you can easily reject medications if you don’t feel like taking it today.

Complete disconnection from drugs

What could be one of the major benefits of entering a drug rehabilitation facility is that you won’t have any access to drugs anymore. You will not battle with your self in taking drugs because you will not be provided in the first place. Professionals make sure that there are no other drugs in the facility, except prescribed drugs. It may seem hard at first, but you will soon get used to it. You will wake up one day not looking for drugs anymore. Aside from that, you also decrease the chances of your cardiovascular diseases getting worse or even risks of having one.

Drug rehabilitation facilities provide total care concerning caring for patients who are suffering from cardiovascular diseases. The rehabilitation can also decrease their risks of having one of the death-causing diseases because of the drug abuse.

Aside from that, the rehabilitation provides the support group that the patient needs. People who are suffering from the same problem will share their experiences, and together, they will help each other in building a new life. Professionals are there to provide assistance and guide them all throughout. They would ensure that you can combat not just your cardiovascular disease but your drug addiction as well.

Drug rehabilitation facilities are one of the safest routes in breaking free from drugs. It is an extremely difficult path. Indeed it is, but only without proper medical supervision that only the professionals of rehabilitation facilities can provide. It’s too much to handle all by yourself. You are torn between the fear of worsening your cardiovascular disease and ceasing the urges of drug usage. Since not all people have the capability to control themselves very well, then you should consider entering drug rehabilitation if you wanted full recovery for both your drug addiction and cardiovascular condition.

According to World Health organization, way back in 2013, cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death all throughout the United States. Considering the advancement of technology nowadays and the never-ending issue of illegal drugs, it’s not surprising anymore if drug abuse causes the statistics of people who died from heart attack or heart failure. Do not let yourself be one of them. Consider entering drug rehabilitation as soon as possible if you wanted to suppress the cardiovascular effects of drug abuse at least.

Both inpatient and outpatient are beneficial. However, inpatient drug rehabilitation centers can offer a defined success rate compared to outpatient option. But if you can’t leave your family at home, you can always opt for the latter one. You just need to discipline yourself because combating drug addiction and cardiovascular disease at the same time is no joke. The importance of drug rehabilitation programs can be seen in all level of treatments. It does not only provide the individual his physical needs to combat his illness, but they also provide total care emotionally and psychologically. They would ensure that you would leave the rehabilitation both physically and emotionally healthy. The effects of drug addiction are endless. Therefore, you must act today or regret it tomorrow.