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Cocaine’s Effect on The Heart

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Cocaine And Heart Health

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.

And unfortunately, 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 heart attack. Cocaine can even cause arrhythmia. And every time someone uses cocaine, they are adding more stress and potential damage to the heart.

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“The Perfect Heart Attack Drug”

Researchers have dubbed cocaine “the perfect heart attack drug.” Scientists note that cocaine users have higher rates of risks of heart attack and stroke 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.

Researchers in Australia in 2012 found that cocaine users:

  • Have 18% more thickness of the left ventricle wall (the left wall is the heart’s main pumping chamber)
  • Have 8mm more systolic blood pressure
  • Increase their aortic stiffening by 30-35%

Stiffer arteries, a thicker heart wall, and high blood pressure can all contribute to a heart attack in cocaine users. And unfortunately one-third of first heart attacks are fatal.

What To Do In Case Of Emergencies

If you or a loved one uses cocaine and are experiencing chest pains or other heart symptoms, go to your nearest emergency room immediately. Not only can cocaine cause chest pain, it is also linked to symptoms such as:

  • Palpitations
  • Shortened breath
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • 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 increase 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 in the appropriate manner.

Contact Us Today For Help

Your heart health shouldn’t be toyed with and if you are abusing cocaine, you need to contact us at Vertava Health today. We can help you find the cocaine addiction treatment that is right for you and your needs. It’s never too late to seek help.