Though addiction is categorized as a mental health disorder, its effects are hardly just in the mind. On the contrary, addiction can take an enormous toll on the body, and sometimes the consequences are dire. In fact, the link between addiction and heart disease only grows clearer as more research is done.
Why Addiction and Heart Disease Are Linked
Addiction places great strain on all of the body’s systems, including the cardiovascular system. Over time, the wear and tear from this strain can lead to irregular heartbeat, collapsed veins, and bacterial infections that corrode the valves of the heart.
Though all substance addiction can lead to heart trouble, certain substances are more clearly linked to cardiovascular distress. These substances include cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. The cumulative effect of ongoing drug use can be heart attack, stroke, and in some cases even death.
Treatment for Addiction and Heart Disease
The link between addiction and heart disease simply underscores the importance of seeking treatment—sooner rather than later.
Clinical care is especially important during the earliest stage of recovery—detox. This is when the strain on bodily systems, such as the heart, will be greatest, and when the pent-up effects of addiction can be the deadliest. Having your detox guided by a medical professional is simply the safest way to avoid a heart episode.
From there, treatment should focus not just on curbing addiction, but on replacing it with healthy habits—including sound nutrition, regular physical activity, stress release, and a consistent sleep schedule. All of these habits can help repair the damage done to your heart, and ease the strain your body must bear.
The bottom line: Addiction is truly a matter of life and death—and that’s at least partly because of its link with heart disease. Seek recovery today; it could truly be life-saving.
Contact Seacliff to transition into a life of recovery.