Irregular Heartbeat as a Symptom of Addiction

Irregular heartbeat is one of the more severe symptoms of addiction and can pose a big problem in the short term. Medically referred to as arrhythmia, it is a condition that is characterised by the abnormal beating of the heart. In this anomaly, the rate of the patient’s heartbeat may be either faster or slower than normal.

It is not uncommon for certain addictive substances to alter the heart rate, with most addiction sufferers feeling the effect immediately after ingesting or administering the substance.

This drastic change in an addict’s heartbeat is most often a result of the constriction or dilation of blood vessels, which is among the direct effects of consuming the substance. It can also be a common symptom during the withdrawal phase of addiction therapy, as the body reacts to the absence of the substance.

Signs of Irregular Heartbeat as a Symptom of Addiction

Irregular heartbeat in substance abuse sufferers is most often accompanied by other signs and symptoms that may or may not be a direct consequence of the arrhythmia. Common signs include palpitations that occur between heartbeats, shortness of breath, passing out, and light-headedness, as well as mild to severe chest pains.

Though some of the signs can be easily reversed without one suffering any lasting damage, it isn’t uncommon for any of the symptoms to lead to bigger health issues, like cardiac arrest and stroke. 

Cardiac manifestation of substance abuse is a delicate issue, as it can result in life-threatening conditions and ailments. For example, cocaine and meth addiction are quite common causes of a variety of heart problems ranging from mild to severe.

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The Consequences of Irregular Heartbeat on Addiction Sufferers

The effects of an irregular heartbeat on patients that are suffering from addiction can range from mild consequences to life-threatening conditions. If an addict who consistently indulges in the consumption of a harmful substance develops arrhythmia they may end up suffering from severe ailments that may come from, or lead to, organ damage.

Seeing a Medical Professional in Regards to Irregular Heartbeat

It is important that an addiction patient immediately consults a medical practitioner when faced with symptoms that include an irregular heartbeat. This is to prevent mere signs from leading to more serious problems in the future.

It should be noted that there are other possible causes of irregular heartbeat, which may not even be linked to an addiction problem. This is also another reason why, regardless if you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, you must seek the expertise of a health professional. It may be a result of an underlying issue that isn’t addiction-based.

If the arrhythmia is, however, due to the withdrawal process of addiction therapy, then the best solution for the patient is to request medication from a qualified professional, preferably the one in charge of the substance abuse treatment. This is one of the risks of home detox. If the condition manifests during this process, it is highly advisable to call a detox clinic for assistance.

Irregular heartbeat is a medical condition that rarely occurs on its own, so, it is important that one finds the root of the problem before taking any medical action.

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