Whether you are an ex-smoker or have never touched a cigarette in your life and don’t plan to, you are definitely aware of how dangerous these little sticks can actually be. Besides the rush of the stimulant called nicotine, which triggers the addiction in the first place, cigarettes contain over 7,000 different chemicals ranging from radioactive particles to tar, a gelatinous mixture produced by smoke. Both firsthand and secondhand smoke can harm smokers and the people around them, but some especially-sinister dangers lie inside the victims. For today, let’s take a closer look at how smoking can increase the risk of a disease called atherosclerosis.
The Deadly Details
So, what, you may be asking, exactly is atherosclerosis? Simply put, this disease takes place when the arteries start to harden over a period of time, usually years. Typically, medium-to-large-sized arteries are affected more often than smaller varieties. In many cases, medical professionals have theorized that this disease occurs due to damage sustained by the arteries’ inner tissues (endothelium), ultimately constricting blood flow.
Where Do Cigarettes Come In?
Here is a closer look at how the poisons in cigarettes can trigger atherosclerosis:
- High cholesterol: After people smoke, the toxins in cigarettes lower the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as HDL, or “good” cholesterol) and increase low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (better known as LDL, or “bad” cholesterol).
- Tissue damage: Nicotine and carbon monoxide damage the tissue of the endothelium, which gets the stage ready for plaque buildup.
- Boost in blood pressure: Although cigarette chemicals won’t necessarily cause high blood pressure, people who smoke and also suffer from hypertension will potentially suffer from malignant hypertension, a deadlier variety than the regular condition.
Seeking Treatment for Cigarette Use
Remember that addiction can be triggered by one shot of alcohol or a single puff of a cigarette, but the true danger of this sickness is that you cannot fully determine how much you have to consume before your mind forms an attachment. Social smoking is just as dangerous as chronic smoking, on many levels, but you do not have to smoke to have a good time. Remember, drugs cannot determine if you have fun and do not have control over your life.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.