Cocaine is often thought of as a nearly harmless weekend indulgence or a party drug used to enhance a night out. However, the reality is far more grim. The use of cocaine can have serious and even life-threatening consequences on one’s health, particularly when it comes to the heart. This powerful and addictive stimulant can have a devastating impact on the body, and it is important to understand how cocaine affects the heart.
Roaring Brook Recovery offers outpatient treatment that is specifically designed to address the unique challenges of cocaine addiction. Our team of specialists understands the complexities of this addiction and can provide personalized care to help participants overcome their struggles with cocaine.
Understanding Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction typically develops as a result of repeated use over time, leading to changes in the brain’s reward circuit. This stimulant drug triggers the release of large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, in the brain’s reward centers. Under normal conditions, dopamine is released in response to potential rewards, like the smell of good food, and then recycled back into the cell that released it, shutting off the signal between nerve cells.
However, cocaine prevents dopamine from being recycled, causing an excessive amount of the neurotransmitter to build up between nerve cells. This flood of dopamine intensifies the feeling of pleasure and reward, which can lead to the intense euphoria and energy associated with a cocaine high. Over time, the brain becomes accustomed to these excessive dopamine levels, and the individual will need to take larger or more frequent doses of cocaine to experience the same level of pleasure and reward. This need for an increasing amount of the drug to achieve the same effects is what leads to addiction.
Cocaine’s Impact on the Heart
The strain that cocaine puts on your heart is immense and can lead to a host of severe cardiovascular issues. Its stimulating effects cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, all of which can be particularly disastrous for the heart.
Some of the negative effects that cocaine can have on the heart include:
- Increased heart rate – Cocaine use leads to an instant increase in heart rate. The heart ends up working overtime, which may cause stress on the organ in the long term.
- Elevated blood pressure – As a stimulant, cocaine can elevate blood pressure significantly. Over time, high blood pressure can lead to other heart-related complications, including heart disease.
- Arrhythmias – Cocaine can cause the heart to beat irregularly or too quickly, a condition known as arrhythmia. This may lead to inadequate blood flow to the heart and possibly result in a heart attack.
- Myocardial infarction – Commonly known as a heart attack, the heightened strain and irregularities from cocaine use can cause this life-threatening event.
- Cardiomyopathy and heart failure – Chronic cocaine use can lead to cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thick, or rigid. Over time, this can evolve into heart failure.
- Aortic dissection – Cocaine can cause the aorta, the main artery leading from the heart, to tear or rupture.
It is essential to note that all of these effects are heightened when cocaine is mixed with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids. This combination can have deadly consequences for the heart and overall health.
Call Roaring Brook Recovery Today for Help with Cocaine Addiction
The effects of cocaine on the heart are severe and can be life-threatening. It is crucial to seek help immediately if you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction. At Roaring Brook Recovery, our team of specialists can provide the necessary support and tools to overcome this challenging addiction.