Heart Disease & Stroke

Heart Disease & Stroke

Drug addiction and alcoholism have serious negative health consequences on all of the body’s organs, including the heart and brain. There is a direct connection between drug abuse and the abuse of alcohol and heart disease, collapsed veins, bacterial infections, cardiovascular distress, heart attack and stroke.

Addiction ruins lives and destroys bodies. You can stop the progression of both the addiction and heart disease. Call 866-812-8231 to speak with a Recovery Connection coordinator who can find you a quality comprehensive medically based treatment facility.

What is Heart Disease?


The term ‘heart disease’ encompasses a wide variety of abnormalities that affect the functioning of the heart. For example, the dysfunction may be in the heart muscle, valves, electric system of the heart or the arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Heart muscle problems can develop when a heart has been chronically overworked. This can happen when someone has high blood pressure (hypertension). When a person lifts weights with his or her arm muscles, they grow in size and strength. Similarly, the smooth muscle in the heart will also enlarge, when it is under chronic physical stress as seen with alcohol and drug addiction. However, this enlargement may affect the heart’s ability to receive blood from the veins and to pump blood to the body.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) affects the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. The heart muscle needs a constant supply of oxygen in order to function. When there is disease in the heart arteries, the arteries may not supply enough oxygen to the heart, which will result in a heart attack. In effect, the section of the heart muscle tissue that has been deprived of oxygen will die. You can prevent further heart damage by entering detox and drug rehab today. Just call 866-812-8231 and Recovery Connection staff will connect you with a medical detox center.

What is a Stroke?

The brain, like the heart, requires a constant supply of oxygen to function. When one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart becomes partially or fully blocked, the brain is deprived of oxygen. This, in turn, causes the tissue in the area of the brain that is not being supplied with oxygen to die. Depending on which area of the brain has been affected, different symptoms will emerge such as the inability to speak, walk, talk or think properly. Another type of stroke occurs when, rather than being blocked, a vessel to the brain ruptures. However, the effects are the same, meaning brain tissue will die in the affected area. Addiction places unneeded stress on your body. Lower the risk for stroke by entering a medically supervised detox and drug rehab today by calling 866-812-8231. Recovery Connection works with only the best addiction treatment centers and our counselors will be able to help you.

Addiction, Heart Disease, and Stroke

Drug and alcohol addiction create great strain on the body’s organs and organ systems such as the brain, nervous system, respiratory system and circulatory system.

Examples of drugs that lead to cardiovascular distress or cause heart disease include:

Cocaine and crack are short-acting, powerful stimulants that act directly on the heart muscle, the brain’s neurotransmitters, blood vessels, nerve tissue and organ functions. The effects of the drug are immediate, and, depending upon the method of use, the effects can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The intensity of the high can increase the heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels, which in turn can cause irregular heartbeats and cardiac arrest.

Direct cardiovascular symptoms of cocaine and stimulant abuse are:

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats (palpitations)
  • Sudden increase in blood pressure
  • Arterial weakness that leads to rupture
  • Stroke
  • Death

Does Alcoholism and Addiction Cause Heart Disease?

Spasms and narrowing of the heart arteries caused by cocaine and crack, alcohol or other drug use can lead to complaints of chest pain. Because blood flow is compromised and reduced, this can result in a heart attack or death.

Often, those who suffer from alcohol addiction or drug addiction smoke nicotine cigarettes. Nicotine addiction can also lead to cardiovascular problems. These two behaviors place incredible strain on the heart, arteries and surrounding organs. The additional strain can lead to a heart attack and/or stroke. The link between addiction and heart disease now becomes more obvious.

Similar to heart disease, the blood vessels in the brain and those leading to the brain can be damaged by drug and alcohol use. Plaques can form in the blood vessels and they can rupture. Alternatively, blood can suddenly clot in a vessel that supplies blood to the brain, which leads to stroke. The fluctuation in brain blood flow caused by drugs reflects the close relationship between addiction and strokes.

Heart Disease, Stroke, and Addiction Treatment

As described above, cardiovascular distress can lead to heart attack and stroke. Perhaps the most dangerous time for drug abusers is the withdrawal period. During the withdrawal period, the heart, cardiovascular system and other organ systems are under great stress. During this time, drug and/or alcohol withdrawal be treated in a medically supervised drug detoxification center. Drug and alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Drug and/or alcohol use should never be abruptly stopped without first seeking professional medical advice. Call Recovery Connection at 866-812-8231 and speak with one of our counselors about entering a medically supervised detox today!

During detox from alcohol, benzodiazepines or barbiturates, users can experience uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms that include seizures, heart attack or stroke. A medically supervised detox program can help avoid these serious withdrawal symptoms and minimize discomfort during the detox period before drug rehab or alcoholism treatment. Simply stated, the correlation between withdrawal from addiction and heart attacks is minimized.

For those who have abused their bodies through years and years of alcoholism and drug addiction along with smoking cigarettes, poor nutrition and a lack of medical follow-up, drug and alcohol addiction treatment must be done in a multidisciplinary, inpatient treatment facility. In this type of facility, medical needs, psychiatric and mental health needs and counseling needs will be met. For example, group and individual therapy is provided on a unit with psychiatric, medical and nursing care that can meet the needs of those with cardiac, gastrointestinal and psychiatric disorders, rather than in a residential unit that provides therapy and 24-hour monitoring without specialized medical and psychiatric services.

Looking For Treatment?

For assistance in locating an appropriate treatment provider or questions about the relationship between alcohol and heart disease, please call Recovery Connection at 866-812-8231.

24/7 all conversations are confidential

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