Substance abuse and addiction takes place when a person can no longer control their urges to use a drug or alcoholic drink that (simply put) is killing them slowly. Ultimately, when we consider this unfortunate mental illness that is plaguing nearly half of our country, we always think about how certain parts of the body are affected more than others. For example, we may think about how stimulants affect the brain or crystal meth damages the teeth and gums. However, did you ever think about your most precious motor: the heart? While some of might have expected this reality, heart failure, drug addiction, and alcoholism go hand-in-hand in a dangerous dance of substance misuse. Let’s take a closer look at the effects of this mental problem on the cardiovascular system.
What Is Cardiovascular Disease?
Simply put, cardiovascular disease occurs when the tissues in the blood vessel (artery walls, cardiac muscle) and heart begin to suffer from severe damage and can no longer complete their tasks. As a result, normal functions like pumping blood and filtering oxygen are completely driven to a halt, which can result in dangerous consequences for us humans. As oxygen is cut off and vessels deteriorate, we cannot receive proper amounts of nutrients and oxygen in our brains, and excess waste products will be flushed to the kidneys (among other painful problems). In other words, heart disease is literally the starvation of the body.
What Substances Cause the Most Damage?
Ultimately, anything that tampers with the brain and increases problems like blood pressure, rapid breathing, or lung problems is bound to influence the cardiovascular system. However, let’s look at three substances that are notorious for effecting the heart:
- Alcohol: Countless pages of research prove that alcohol is directly linked with a variety of heart problems including cardiac arrhythmia, brain hemorrhaging, peripheral artery disease, and myocardial infarctions (heart attacks).
- Tobacco: While we know about the effects of cigarettes on the lungs, these poisonous sticks wreak havoc on the heart, as well. Besides brain hemorrhages, cigarettes are also directly linked to problems like ischemia (oxygen starvation).
- Illegal drugs: Interestingly, people use who illegal drugs are more likely to fall victim to hepatitis C, which (in turn) can wreak havoc on the heart. As bizarre as this sounds, hep C has actually been linked to cardiomyopathy in certain cases.
Always remember that drugs and alcohol do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or addiction troubles today.