Signs of Heart Damage From Drugs

Substances like opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin are all commonly abused drugs that damage the heart. Cocaine and methamphetamine, also known as meth, cause severe problems and inflict heart attacks. Of course, too much of anything is not good, especially prescribed or illicit substances. Recognizing the signs of heart damage from drugs may increase the chance of reversing and bypassing life-threatening or long-term health conditions. 

Can Drugs Cause an Enlarged Heart? 

The heart can grow or become enlarged from drug abuse. Cardiac hypertrophy results from the muscle walls of the heart extending grossly thick. For example, cocaine may increase the risk of an enlarged heart since the blood does not circulate through the body or quickly around the heart. Eventually, scar tissue expands within the heart and the arterial walls. Irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure often cause heart disease or inflict a heart attack. 

What Illegal Drugs Cause Heart Attacks? 

If a person takes opioids without a prescription, then they are illegally misusing the substance. Heroin and opioids are contributors to heart-related issues. However, cocaine is the prime culprit. Cocaine activates the body’s central nervous system (CNS), which is the pathway for the signals to travel throughout the body. Norepinephrine is a chemical that responds to stress and significantly affects heart rate and blood pressure. 


Like heroin, cocaine increases body temperature, constricts blood vessels, and tightens the heart muscles or inflicts coronary spasms. These drugs, including painkillers, can weaken the heart and damage the arteries. Cocaine, prescription pill, and heroin addiction treatment are highly advised if a user takes these drugs for an extended duration and frequency or if they are used with a prescription but are not being used in the way or duration in which they were prescribed.  

Signs of Heart Damage From Substance Abuse 

How do drugs affect the heart? Well, they enlarge it and increase the risk of disease and organ failure. Therefore, recognizing the signs of heart damage from drugs is essential to avoid health problems or death. 


Signs of heart damage from drugs include: 


  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels
  • Discomfort in upper parts of the body like the jaw, neck, or arms

If a user is showing signs of addiction, then this is the first sign of potential heart failure. Signs of substance abuse include mood swings, lying, irritability, isolation, or lack of hygiene or appetite. Illegal substances should be avoided, but there are detox treatments that help addicts recover. 

Resources & Recovery at Better Addiction Care   

Although club drugs like cocaine, LSD, marijuana, or even alcohol seem like a fun time, are they worth the health risks? At Better Addiction Care, we provide you the resources and services you need to avoid long-term health complications and get back on your feet. Begin your treatment journey by speaking with professionals who will support you and design a treatment plan that best fits your needs. Also, we offer support and services after treatment to prevent relapse, so you don’t have to feel alone. 


Don’t wait. Speak to a professional at Better Addiction Care by calling 800-429-7690 now. After recovery, learn how to stay drug-free with us!


Related Readings: 

Negative Side Effects of Crystal Meth

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

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