by Kyle Beard on Monday, November 4th, 2019
The heart is one of the most important muscles in the body that pumps blood into our system. Each time our heart beats, it reminds us that we are alive. By abusing opioids, we are abusing the heart which functions to make sure that we are alive and have the energy to live the best life.
A new study discovered that hospitalization rates doubled between 2002-2016 due to infective endocarditis as a result of drug abuse. This affects the innermost layers of the heart chambers such as the valves. In this study, researchers looked at the data of 954,709 patients from the biggest publicly available healthcare system in the country. All of the states were affected, with the Midwest being the biggest patient spike of 4.9%. Normally, this heart condition affects those who are around the age of 70. But the study spoke of young men age 38 who were average, white, and poor. They were also likely to have HIV, Hepatitis, and abuse alcohol.
Cardiologist and senior author of the study, Dr. Serge C. Harb, felt like drug abuse was a “nationwide epidemic” and wanted people to know just how serious this problem is. Working with heart patients showed him just how common this particular disease was in relation to opioid abuse. He believes that health measures must be in place nationwide and target areas that are most at risk. This includes involving the heart and addiction specialists and social workers. Harb says that treating the infection is only part of the solution. The other part lies in helping these patients address their addiction symptoms, providing social support, getting treatment, and preventing relapses.
Having the heart muscle contract forcefully can be suppressed when opioids are combined with benzodiazepines. This combination can lead to heart failure, especially if you already have an underlying heart condition. There is also bradycardia where you experience a slow heart rate due to the slowness of the sinus node. Opioid abuse also leads to vasodilation where you experience a sudden drop in blood pressure. This study shows just how much our heart is suffering as a result of opioid abuse and that more needs to be done about it. By going into treatment for your opioid abuse disorder, you are making sure your heart continues to beat for you.
Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view of healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.