Telltale Signs of Heart Damage from Drugs

August 30, 2022
5 min read

There are various reasons why the use of illicit drugs is banned; they cause numerous complications a cause hindrances in normal physiological functions. One system that is mostly affected by substance abuse is the cardiovascular system. There are sure-shot signs of heart damage from drugs abuse.Drugs like heroin, cocaine, versions of amphetamine, etc., show their effects on the central nervous system (the CNS) and can hamper the abuser’s consciousness. There are many risks related to substance use; the most prevalent issue is addiction.

Signs Of Heart Damage Due To Drugs

Drugs happen to impose a threat to not only the cardiovascular system but also other organs like the kidneys, liver, lungs, etc. But mostly, adverse impact is seen on the heart. Some signs or symptoms of heart damage after drugs include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Constant fatigue
  • No strength to exercise
  • Frequent pauses for urination during sleep
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Dry cough
  • Hard stomach

The severity of symptoms varies from person to person; mild, moderate to severe symptoms. Congestive heart failure can be caused because of damaged heart muscle due to drug or alcohol abuse.

Other Signs Of Drug Abuse

  • Rapid changes in body temperature, heart rate, and BP (blood pressure.)
  • Headaches
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Nausea
  • STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Impaired judgment
  • Toxic reactions from added substances.
  • Seizures or respiratory arrest

Drugs That Cause Heart Attacks

Cocaine, to name one drug in this category, causes heart tissue damage and consequent attack. You may disagree with this, but even if you are snorting the drug in powder form, it can still target any body system.Recreational cocaine abusers have elevated blood pressure, stiffer than normal arteries, and thick heart muscle walls than those who do not use drugs. All of the factors can cause a heart attack. Other than cocaine, amphetamine and ecstasy also produce the same effects on the heart.

Do Drugs Cause Congestive Heart Failure?

Like mentioned above, drug abuse shows signs of heart tissue and blood vessel damage. This results in the blood impaired blood transportation throughout the body. Fluid and other waste travel to parts like the liver or kidneys that cause organ failure. Illicit drugs or alcohol creates a life-threatening, almost fatal situation.

Can The Heart Heal From Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is bad for your heart. But is it possible for your heart to heal up, or is the damage permanent? Recovery from heart damage is a possibility, but the reversal depends on the severity of the heart damage.Quitting drugs is primarily essential to get your heart back on track. Mild to moderate exercise and a good diet, along with lifestyle modification will help improve your overall heart health.


Addiction treatment can do wonders for not only the heart but other organs of the body as well. Seek therapy and contact cardiologists from Northwest Houston Clinic for more information.

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