Addiction affects all aspects of a person’s life and the lives of loved ones. Addiction can lead to serious physical and mental health problems. Some drugs can cause seizures, organ failure, brain damage, overdose, and early death. Drugs and alcohol elevate blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack, collapsed veins, and heart failure.

According to the American Heart Association, “Many drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and various forms of amphetamine, affect the central nervous system and can alter a user’s consciousness.” In addition to addiction, the side effects include changes in body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Alcohol’s effect on the heart

Alcohol consumption affects the brain and its ability to control the individual’s behavior, thinking, motion, and speech and has deadly effects on the heart. The amount of alcohol, drinking patterns, mental health, and genetics heighten the risk of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Drinking too much alcohol weakens the heart and triggers an irregular heart rate.

Long-term excessive drinking increases the risk of heart problems. A person who drinks regularly might not feel the same effects of the alcohol. This means he or she has developed a tolerance, which results in drinking more to achieve the same pleasurable feelings.

Drinking alcohol causes weight gain. Most alcoholic drinks are high in calories and contain a lot of sugar. The increase in weight puts a strain on the heart, forcing it to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. The added weight increases risks of having a heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

Heart-damaging effects of drug use

Stimulants often have severe effects on the cardiovascular system. These drugs include cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and MDMA or ecstacy. The heart-damaging effects of these drugs include:

  • Increased levels of adrenaline and related hormones into the blood
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Narrowed blood vessels
  • High blood pressure

These effects significantly increase the risk of heart attack. Long-term abuse of these drugs can lead to spasms of the heart muscle that cause tears in the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen. (Ghuran, A., & Nolan, J., Western Journal of Medicine, 2000).

When a person stops drugs or alcohol, his or her heart muscles strengthen and gradually improve. Alcoholism and addiction are treatable diseases. When a person stops drinking alcohol, his or her heart can begin to heal and the risk of heart problems lessens.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Get help today so you can enjoy a fulfilling, new, healthy and sober lifestyle.

Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204


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