The heart continuously pumps blood to our organs and beats over 100,000 times per day, and produces enough energy to drive a truck for 20 miles. Exercise, eating healthy, and other positive life choices (such as not smoking) affect the way our heart functions.
Cocaine is bad for the heart. Whether a person habitually uses cocaine and has a history of heart disease or is relatively young and is trying cocaine for the first time, anyone abusing cocaine may still suffer from a heart attack even after using cocaine once.
When a person uses cocaine, they increase their blood pressure and heart rate. This results in the constriction of arteries that give blood to the heart. When blood flow to the heart is disrupted in this way, the individual abusing cocaine runs a high risk of a heart attack. Cocaine can even cause arrhythmia. And every time someone uses cocaine, they add more stress and potential damage to the heart.
Cocaine’s Effect on the Heart
Cocaine is a dangerous and addictive substance; its effects on the heart can be particularly damaging. Cocaine affects the heart in a multitude of ways:
- Increases blood pressure and heart rate
- Narrows arteries that supply oxygen to the heart muscle
- Causes arrhythmia—a disruption of heartbeat
The abuse of cocaine can lead to heart attack, stroke, and sudden death. For those suffering from cocaine addiction, our cocaine rehab programs provide comprehensive treatment plans tailored to the individual’s needs. Our programs include detoxification services, individual and group counseling sessions, relapse prevention strategies, and medications as needed to address underlying mental health issues.
Researchers have dubbed cocaine “the perfect heart attack drug.” Scientists note that cocaine users have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke rates than people who do not use cocaine. Not only can cocaine affect an individual’s heart while taking the drug, but the damage can last for years or a lifetime.
When the Effects of Cocaine Cause an Emergency
- When cocaine’s effect on the heart causes a medical emergency, the individual must receive immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a heart attack may include:
- Shortened breath
- Profuse sweating
If a doctor does not know that a patient has used cocaine, the life of the treated individual may be in jeopardy. The typical treatment for heart attacks is beta-blockers and clot-busting drugs. These drugs interact negatively with cocaine, as it increases blood pressure and the dangers of bleeding in the brain if a patient is administered a clot-busting drug.
When a doctor knows of a patient’s history of cocaine use, they will then be able to treat the heart concern appropriately.
Find Help for Cocaine Use Today at Vertava Health
If you are worried about cocaine’s effect on the heart, our cocaine addiction treatment can help. Contact us at 844.470.0410 today to learn more about our treatment options. Our team of compassionate clinicians is committed to helping you or your loved one find a healthier, happier future.