Methamphetamine, an intense drug that causes feelings of pleasure. It also causes many unpleasant feelings. Chronic Meth use causes sever damage to many of the bodes organ, including the heart.
According to The Meth Project, meth speeds up the heart. Frequent use can cause a variety of heart problems, including heart failure, which is fatal. One of the first problems many meth users experience is heart strain, which results in palpitations. The heart rate increases and the heart weakens and enlarges. This also results in less blood flow to the heart and other organs, which can increase the risk of a stroke.
An arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat, is also common with meth use. Symptoms include shortness of breath and a slow heartbeat. The heartbeat can also be fluttering or too fast, which can result in organ failure due to lack of blood flow. Continuing to use meth can lead to sharp chest pains and heavy pressure on the heart, which are the first signs of a heart attack.
A June 2012 article from ABC News studied the effects of meth on the heart. Researchers conducted experiments on animal specimens to determine how meth use plays a role in heart problems. They found that meth use can cause a host of heart problems, including arrhythmias, bleeding and heart failure. Meth use creates a chemical reaction of sugar and amphetamines that changes proteins and creates inflammation and antibody responses. This causes damage to the heart and blood vessels. This finding may explain why meth users become tolerant of the drug and need more and more of the drug to achieve a high. The antibody response can take away amphetamine from the cells, which means that a higher dose of the drug is needed.
In the circulatory system, compounds called advanced glycation end products were deposited on the walls of the arteries. This leads to inflammation, which can seriously damage the arteries. Further experiments may be done on animal specimens to see if they experience the same effects on their hearts as human meth users do.
According to Medical Aspects of Methamphetamine Abuse, meth users are at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes because of the increase in blood pressure and heart rate, platelet aggregation and vessel constriction. These factors can also contribute to other cardiovascular problems such as inflammation in the heart muscle and lining of the heart. Sudden cardiac death can occur in young meth users with no previous health problems.
If you or a loved one are struggling with methamphetamine addiction, Footprints of Serenity is here to assist in the process of getting you or your loved one back to living a substance free life. Please have no hesitation to call us at 1-213-807-6237