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The Dangerous Short and Long-Term Effects of Meth on The Heart

The Dangerous Short and Long-Term Effects of Meth on The Heart

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, is a stimulant drug that is highly addictive.

While it is used occasionally in the United States for medical purposes, meth is more commonly sold on the streets and abused. It can be smoked, snorted, or injected. Most people take methamphetamine for its initial high, but its highly addictive qualities quickly get people hooked. With time, meth use can lead to dangerous consequences including serious health complications. Methamphetamine addiction treatment is available for those who become dependent on this drug.

How Does Meth Affect the Heart?

While meth can have a negative impact on several parts of the body, the effects of meth on the heart include both immediate changes as well as long-term consequences. Not surprisingly, prolonged abuse and higher doses can lead to more serious or permanent damage. Because of this dangerous connection between meth and the heart, those abusing meth should seek out the help of a substance abuse treatment center to quit before the harm reaches this level.

The Short-Term Effects of Meth Use on the Heart & Cardiovascular System

People who begin taking methamphetamine do so because of the initial euphoric rush it provides. Because the drug leaves people feeling happy at first, they become focused on that high and may dismiss any possible risks including those involving the cardiovascular system.

The short-term effects of meth on the heart and cardiovascular system include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Heart failure from overdose

Although these effects of meth on the heart may seem mostly harmless so long as the right dose is taken, with time these short-term effects can lead to more serious problems.

The Effects of Long-Term Meth Use on the Heart

While people start by taking meth for the energy boost and rush of happiness, these feelings fade. People will continue to abuse this drug because their bodies start to become dependent on it. Over time, these short-term effects cause strain on the cardiovascular system and can develop into more serious problems.

The long-term effects of meth on the heart and cardiovascular system may include:

  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Inflammation to heart lining
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack

Many people may underestimate the effects of methamphetamine on the heart, but this damage can be deadly and irreversible even if use stops. With the exception of overdoses or accidents while under the influence, the leading cause of death for meth users is cardiovascular disease.1 Especially for people with preexisting conditions involving the cardiovascular system or poor heart health, these problems may be exacerbated by meth use. Using other psychostimulant drugs can also increase these risks.2

At our Pompano substance abuse treatment center, we give patients a full physical and mental health assessment before treatment to ensure that our patients can be treated for all of their underlying problems. If you or someone you care about is addicted to meth or another drug, get help sooner rather than later. Waiting to take action could lead to serious consequences.

To learn more about our programs at Banyan Pompano and to get started, contact us today at 888-280-4763.


  1. AHA Journals - Methamphetamine Use and Cardiovascular Disease
  2. UNSW - Cardiotoxicity associated with methamphetamine use and signs of cardiovascular pathology among methamphetamine users
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.