What Drug Addiction Does to Your Heart - Banyan Treatment Center

What Drug Addiction Does to Your Heart


Your addiction isn’t just heartbreaking to your friends and family, it may literally be destroying your heart through dangerous side effects of illegal drugs on the heart.

Even prescription drugs such as benzos and opiates can increase the risk of heart problems. The dangers of addiction for your heart coupled with the long-term effects of drug abuse on the skeletal and nervous systems show how important sobriety is for your health.

Types of Heart Damage from Addiction

There are many dangerous effects of illegal drugs on the heart, with stimulants posing some of the highest risks. Those who experience the most pronounced cardiovascular damage from drugs are likely using stimulants like cocaine. In fact, The American Heart Association calls cocaine the perfect heart attack drug, explaining that cocaine users are more likely to experience issues associated with a markedly increased risk of a heart attack. This includes a 30-35% increase in aortic, higher blood pressure, and greater thickness in the left ventricle wall of the heart.1

Dangerous side effects of illegal drugs on the heart include:

  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Seizure
  • Heart murmurs
  • Collapsed veins
  • Blood or heart valve infections
  • Sepsis
  • Heart attack

When considering what drug addiction does to your heart, it becomes clear that sobriety isn’t just about getting healthy, it’s about saving your life. Addiction can damage your heart and virtually every major organ in your body. Contact our team at Banyan Treatment Centers to reclaim your health and future with sobriety.

Drugs That Cause Heart Damage

Cocaine and other stimulants aren’t the only drugs that cause cardiovascular damage like heart problems or vein damage. IV drug users are incredibly susceptible to heart damage from addiction, as they expose their veins and entire cardiovascular system to risks of infection or foreign substance problems every time they shoot up.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists several drugs that have been shown to have negative effects on the heart or cardiovascular system.2 Drugs that can cause heart damage include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin and Opiates
  • MDMA
  • Marijuana
  • Meth
  • Ketamine
  • Stimulants
  • Steroids
  • PCP
  • DMT
  • Peyote
  • Tobacco

Fixing Heart Damage from Addiction Starts with Sobriety

Pressing heart conditions or symptoms of heart damage must be addressed by a cardiovascular doctor. Prolonged sobriety is one of the best ways to prevent additional heart damage and getting sober is important in treating any issues caused by addiction. If you suspect that you are experiencing a heart attack, seek immediate medical attention.

If you are looking to get sober to prevent addiction heart damage, our team at Banyan Treatment Centers can help you recover. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to get started on the path of sobriety.


  1. American Heart Association - Illegal Drugs and Heart Disease
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse - Health Consequences of Drug Misuse
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.

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