Addiction and Your Heart Health

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Drug Abuse and Your Heart

While most people know that drugs are bad for your health, many do not know about the connection between drug abuse and heart health. Most illegal drugs can trigger heart issues that can range from irregular heart rates to heart attacks. 

Even the way that you ingest drugs can affect your health. 

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we understand the negative impacts on the heart caused by drug abuse. That is why we focus on the healing of the body as well as the mind in our drug detox and drug rehab programs.

Understanding Drug Abuse

People use drugs to self-medicate or get high. Drug use is considered drug abuse when it starts to affect your ability to lead a normal life. 

When people abuse drugs, it is likely that they will develop an addiction that they cannot control. Addiction is a chronic brain disease that makes a person use drugs regularly, even when they know the drug is bad for them. Users can be either a physically or mentally addicted to a substance.

Drug abuse can lead to several different health issues, as well as make existing health issues worse. 

At Resurgence, we provide mental health treatment in a safe, comfortable, and compassionate environment. 

How Drug Abuse Can Affect Your Body

Many illegal drugs are banned because of their negative health effects as even legal drugs can cause health issues if they are abused. The most commonly abused drugs that lead to heart problems are stimulants and opioids.

How Stimulants Affect The Heart

Common stimulants like amphetamine and cocaine can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, causing an increase in oxygen demand in your heart muscle.

However, because stimulants also decrease blood flow, this means that your heart will not get as much blood or oxygen as it needs. This can lead to an increased chance of getting an infection in your heart muscle.

How Opioids Affect The Heart

Opioids can cause heart issues in other ways. These drugs increase your cholesterol, which increases your risk of a heart attack.

Other drugs that can affect your heart include:

  • Inhalants
  • Ketamine
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • MDMA
  • Mescaline
  • Methamphetamine
  • Steroids
  • Nicotine

Injecting illegal drugs can also lead to heart problems. Frequent injections can cause collapsed veins, which can restrict blood flow. Contaminated needles can give you bacterial infections in your blood vessels and heart valves, as well as increase your risk of getting hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is known to cause damage to your heart by creating build-up, which can lead to a heart attack.

How Drug Abuse Affects Your Mind

Drugs are addictive because they change the way that your brain works and they change the way that certain chemicals are released in your body.

Dopamine is a chemical in your body that gives you feelings of happiness and relaxation. Drug abuse severely impacts how dopamine is released into your system.

Another chemical affected by drug abuse is norepinephrine. This chemical controls your blood vessels, blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and breathing. With drug abuse, norepinephrine is released by the brain and into your system at a different rate. These chemical changes in your brain affect the way that your heart works and can lead to:

  • increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • decreased blood flow
  • increased blood sugar

Over time, these imbalances in your brain chemicals can affect your heart health. Even after you stop abusing drugs, it can take time for your brain to relearn the right way to release norepinephrine.

Mental Illness and Drug Abuse

People who have issues with substance abuse are also frequently diagnosed with mental health issues. For some people, a mental illness made them more likely to suffer from addiction. Issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are known to increase the chances of having a drug addiction. Some people use drugs to treat their mental illness symptoms.

Drug abuse makes mental health issues worse. People with anxiety or depression often find that drug use makes their symptoms worse in the long run. For others, the stress of drug addiction leads to mental health issues. And when you are suffering from a mental health issue as well as addiction, worrying about drug abuse and your heart health is often the last thing on your mind.

At Resurgence, we provide effective and customized dual diagnosis treatment programs for people that are suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues.


Diagnosing Heart Issues After Drug Abuse

As drug abuse becomes more of a concern for older people, so too does the concern for the heart health of abusers. The prevalence of drug use in people aged 50 to 59 has gone up more than threefold in the last ten years. The number of drug users who were hospitalized for heart problems went up more than 130 percent during the same time.

The first step to help people with drug abuse issues and their heart health is to make them aware of the damage that drugs have done. Simple health screenings such as electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, or magnetic resonance imaging can find if your heart has suffered damage from your drug use. From there, a doctor can help you with a treatment plan to improve your heart health.

Treatment Options for Drug Addiction

No matter what drugs you may be abusing, Resurgence Behavioral Health has many different treatment options. The first step of your recovery process will be to detox. This process helps to get the drugs out of your system. Depending on the drug you were using, this process can involve either social support or medical support.

After you have completed the detox process, we can get started on your personalized treatment plan. Some of the options that we have available are:

  • Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT. MAT uses both medicines and counseling, and behavioral therapy to create a totally inclusive treatment plan for clients. This approach works great at treating detox and withdrawal symptoms for more serious drugs, such as opioids.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. CBT works to help clients see the things in their life that trigger their drug use. Next, clients will learn how to avoid and manage these situations to help them stay clean.
  • Contingency Management, or CM. CM gives clients small rewards or small gifts. Clients receive these rewards for things like attending and participating in their therapy sessions, following their treatment plan, and for staying clean after rehab.
  • Family therapy helps clients with drug or alcohol problems, as well as help their families. This treatment is a great option for young adults, and people with children. By talking about how the client’s drug or alcohol use affects the entire family, we can help clients and their families strengthen their bond.

Paying for Treatment

 The first step in your journey to overcoming your addiction is simple, contact Resurgence Behavioral Health. The Resurgence Behavioral Health team prides itself on building an affordable, personalized recovery plan for each client, without sacrificing quality. Our free insurance verification allows us to help you figure out exactly what your insurance will pay for.

We accept most PPO insurance as well as private forms of payment for treatment. We will also communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to. You can complete our insurance verification form or call.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we believe that the environment is just as important as treatment. That is why our luxurious locations are in safe and secure neighborhoods, with plenty of open space for peace and quiet. Our warm, sunny weather and proximity to beaches and parks mean that, when you are ready and able, you can enjoy being outside.

Our specially prepared nutritious meals help support your total physical recovery. Addiction is a serious disease that can have a lasting impact on your heart health. Let us help you overcome your addiction by helping you design the treatment plan that you deserve.

We will arm you with the tools and resources you need to be successful in overcoming your addiction. Contact us today at (855) 458-0050 to get started on your road to a drug abuse-free life.