Drug Rehab Orange County: How Drug Addiction Affects Your Heart

Drug Rehab Orange County: How Drug Addiction Affects Your Heart

Orange County alone has more than 5,000 hospitalizations and 700 deaths yearly due to drug or alcohol overdoses.[1] Nearly 80% of deaths from drugs are accidental, and over 50% of them involve prescription drugs. The health problems stemming from drug use in Southern California lead people to seek drug rehab in Orange County. Unfortunately, heart failure and cardiovascular diseases are some of the most common causes of death among people who struggle with drug addiction.

Drugs That Cause Heart Damage

Some of the drugs that can cause heart damage are:

  • Amphetamines
  • Ecstasy
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin and prescription opioids
  • Meth
  • Steroids
  • Peyote
  • Ketamine

Many of these drugs increase heart rate, and some can lead to ventricular or muscular damage. They can also raise blood pressure, collapse veins, and cause other serious issues.[2]

The American Heart Association calls cocaine the “perfect heart attack drug.” This is because even short-term cocaine use can lead to serious problems. Researchers from the AHA found that participants in a study of theirs had up to 35% increased aortic stiffness, up to 18% thickness increase in the heart’s left ventricle and higher systolic blood pressure after cocaine use.[3]

Heroin and other opioids are also implicated in many cases of heart failure. According to a study from Ohio State University, there was a 436% increase between 2012 and 2017 in hospital admission for people with infectious endocarditis.[4] Heroin use was attributed to many of those cases.

Opioid use has been linked to hypotension and heart failure in younger adults.[4] Those attempting to withdraw from opioid use on their own can increase the risk of heart failure.[5] Opioids can slow a person’s respiration until the body essentially forgets to continue breathing, leading to death. Naloxone is a drug that reverses dangerous opioid overdoses to prevent death. However, it is not a treatment for addiction.

Symptoms of Heart Damage From Drugs

Developing an abnormal heart rhythm is just one symptom of heart damage caused by drug use. Some drugs may cause a higher heart rate, a heart murmur, or eventually lead to seizures. One of the most dangerous problems among intravenous drug users is endocarditis. It is a severe infection and inflammation of the heart’s inner lining. Endocarditis often creates flu-like symptoms.[6] These are some additional symptoms that may appear:

  • Sweating and dizziness
  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in limbs
  • Chest pain with breathing

If these symptoms appear after using a drug intravenously, seek emergency medical help immediately. Ignoring this type of infection can be fatal.

Drug Rehab Orange County: Protect Your Heart and Future

Seeking help from drug rehab in Orange County is the best way to overcome addiction and reduce the risks of developing serious or worsening heart problems. Withdrawal from drugs can be dangerous, and it is better to detox under the supervision of trained health professionals. However, detox is only one step. Support is another part of the recovery process. At Clear Life Recovery, we offer other treatments such as:

  • Residential addiction treatment gives you a 24/7 recovery setting to live among others and enjoy outdoor activities while you go through treatment.
  • Intensive outpatient therapy is available if you can live away from the facility while receiving intensive addiction therapy.
  • The partial hospitalization program lets you work through treatments during the day and return to a sober environment in the evenings, and it usually lasts about a month.

At Clear Life Recovery, we customize your treatment plan to meet your unique needs. To learn more about how we can help you break the addiction cycle permanently, please contact us today to get started.



[1] https://www.ochealthinfo.com/about/admin/pubs/od

[2] https://drugabuse.com/drug-addiction-health-issues/cardiovascular/

[3] https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Illegal-Drugs-and-HeartDisease_UCM_428537_Article.jsp#.XbDoJJNKjBI

[4] https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2019/07/11/12/42/editors-corner-the-opioid-crisis-a-call-to-action-for-cardiovascular-professionals

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3760581/

[6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endocarditis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352576