Can drugs cause an enlarged heart? An interview with an expert

normal blood pressure, heart muscle, abuse of cocaine

Effects of Illegal Drugs on the Heart

Illegal drug abuse is a serious problem which may affect anyone of any age from the age of a child to the age of one who regularly uses drugs. Illegal drugs are the drugs that are commonly sold as an alternative to legal use for pleasure.

This can cause severe health concerns, including a heart condition and breathing difficulty. The heart complications a person is likely to be afflicted with may vary from the drugs and other conditions it can affect. These problems may include a worsening of current cardiac symptoms.

Illegal drugs and heart disease

Often illegal drug use is harmful to a person with a heart condition and can cause heart disease. Injecting illegal substances can cause heart disease and bacterial infections in blood arteries or veins as well as gastrointestinal disorders.

Some substances affect your brain and affect your ability to cope with a particular problem – Some drugs include cocaine, heroin and amphetamine. Aside from addiction the side effect of the use of the drug is that of the following:

Drugs that may lead to heart damage

If someone takes medicine to treat an issue they need to know about possible side effects. You should seek medical help from someone with a thorough knowledge about the health history of their patients.

This page includes a number of medications which can cause heart problems. If you want more advice regarding a specific medicine, consult a doctor before you begin.

Take our Substance Abuse Self-Assessment

Take a free 5-minute addiction test to find out why someone has substance abuse. The evaluation comprises eleven yes or no questions intended for an evaluation of the probability and the likelihood of a drug use disorder.

All of the tests are anonymous and no personal details must be entered in order to see results. Is there a fear in your life? Disclaimer: Only therapists can diagnose drug or alcohol abuse disorders. This evaluation may provide an indication for a potential addiction, but is not a substitute for the assessment of an addiction specialist.

Substance Abuse & The Heart

Addiction is defined as the excessive consumption or reliance on drugs to alter a physiological state. It may cause an anthropological or psychological dependence upon a drug. These intakes can be categorized as abuse if they result in significant impairment in a person’s ability to perform in occupational and societal terms. Substance abuse could cause deteriorations of existing health issues or require treatment for complaints caused by substance abuse. Symptoms include infectivity and infectious illness.

The Effects of Illicit Drugs on Cardiovascular Disease

Illicit drugs can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. A survey of nearly 400,000 drug addicts found 223 have died from cardiovascular diseases. These were the four most commonly used causes and exceeded by psychoses, schizophrenia and depression correspondingly1.

Hepatitis C (a viral infection contracted with infection of a needle) is a common result of drug misuse19. The disease can have significant repercussions on our hepatic organs but it can also cause cardiomyopathies. 2.

The Effects of Smoking on Cardiovascular Disease

Tobacco smoke has been associated with higher rates of illness in the United States, as well as decreased quality of life in many countries. These are commonly associated with cardiac disorders.

Habitual smoking and excessive use of tobacco are considered risks to peripheral arterial disease. Smoking can also lead a person to develop ischemia and brain hemorrhage6. It is also possible that tobacco is linked to cardiovascular risk18.

Cardiovascular Disease: Definition, Conditions & Complications

Heart disease is a disease that affects the body’s tissue causing impairment in its ability to function. This function involves regular and consistent pressure of blood throughout the body that provides nutrients and oxygen to the body.

The vascular systems are also involved in the exchange of oxygenated blood with deoxygenated blood in the human body. Until we get that ability, our cells rapidly die of oxygen and die.

Alcohol abuse and cardiovascular disease

Excess alcohol consumption increases the risk of a brain hemorrhage. Alcohol abuse can cause a cardiomyopathy. It also has a higher chance of having high blood pressure. Alcoholism is a risk factor for developing hypertension.

It can also affect genetic susceptibility 14. Similarly, variations on aldehyde dehydrogenases can affect hypertension. Almost all the 73 heart failures were attributed to alcohol abuse.

Common Illicit Drugs Associated With Adverse Effects on Cardiovascular Disease

In most countries, illegal drugs can no longer be bought or sold in the market. The risk is due to the adverse effects profile and addiction potential and often a high tolerance profile, and is due to the disdisproportionately large number of drug regulatory and drug-approval authorities globally. These properties may cause abuse over time.


It is a class of drug that has some derivatives associated with the treatment of disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This stimulant causes cardiovascular disease as well as a number of other problems. They include:3:

Blood Vessels

It also causes all the blood vessels to constrict or tighten. This combination stresses the heart that is trying to pump blood through the constricted arteries and veins. The effect of repeated use of cocaine is an enlarged heart that is less able to pump blood efficiently.

These harmful kinds of heart enlargement are known as pathological cardiac hypertrophy and are typically caused by chronic high blood pressure, heart disease and heart attacks.

Cardiac Arrest

Even though Bias had no signs of prior heart problems and was a healthy athlete, a normal dose of cocaine caused a cardiac arrest.

In severe cases, arrhythmia can lead to cardiac arrest and even death. Get Checked Sooner Rather Than Later Again, because heart enlargement does not necessarily come with obvious warning signs, cocaine users can be in extreme danger and not even know it.

Heart Failure

“The biomolecular pathway that we’ve identified likely also plays an important role in heart hypertrophy due to hypertension, heart attacks and heart failure,” Dr. Henning said. In cardiac hypertrophy, or enlarged heart, the heart’s main pumping chamber becomes abnormally large as a result of an increased workload.

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Chest Pain

This can lead to an abnormal rhythm or even a heart attack. Any cocaine user may experience chest pain . The amount of cocaine used or the frequency of use are not related to the likelihood of heart problems occurring.

Prescription Drugs

Examples of prescription drugs using amphetamines include dextroamphetamine, dextroamphetamine combined with amphetamine, or methyphenidate. Many amphetamines are also illegally manufactured.

Coronary Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease This is a condition similar to coronary artery disease, in which an artery located away from the heart (usually in an extremity) is obstructed. This may, again, lead to ischemia and death in the tissues affected and is also associated with atherosclerosis 11.

Blood Flow

The amount of cocaine used or the frequency of use are not related to the likelihood of heart problems occurring. Heart damage or the reduction of blood flow to the heart can result in death, even for a new cocaine abuser. This possibility was never realised by cocaine users until the death of basketball star Len Bias in 1986.

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