The Effects of Cocaine on the Heart

The Effects of Cocaine on the Heart

At our luxury Palm Beach drug rehabilitation center, we have seen the devastation that cocaine can have on a patients’ mental state, relationships, and physical health. In particular, cocaine abuse can have volatile effects on the cardiovascular system, sometimes earning itself the nickname the “heart attack drug.”

The Short-Term Effects of Cocaine on the Heart

Cocaine is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the body’s functioning and gives users an energy boost. Although it depends on the route of administration, dosage, and the user, most people on cocaine will start to feel the effects almost immediately, but the cocaine high is usually short-lived and typically lasts less than an hour. This high will affect users in different ways but will impact various parts of the body.

The cocaine high effects on the heart and the cardiovascular system will include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased blood pressure1

The immediate effects of cocaine use on the heart may not be that concerning, but a cocaine overdose leads to much more serious problems. Along with the life-threatening possibility of seizures or stroke, the effects of a cocaine overdose on the heart and cardiovascular system may include:

  • Racing or irregular heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack2

If you or someone you know has overdosed on cocaine, it is time to accept that there is a problem. Our luxury PHP rehab could just save your or their life.

The Long-Term Effects of Cocaine on the Heart

Along with damage to other parts of the body, over time and especially with regular abuse, these short-term effects of cocaine can develop into more serious health problems involving the cardiovascular system.

The effects of cocaine on the heart long-term include:

  • Risk of bloodborne illnesses if injecting cocaine
  • Vascular problems from repeated injections
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased efficiency of the heart
  • Thickening of the walls of the heart
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Rupture of the aorta3,4

Cocaine abuse and heart attacks in particular seem to be linked together. A study found that in the first hour after ingesting cocaine, the user’s risk of heart attack increased 24 times than someone without cocaine in their system.5 For regular cocaine users, these cardiovascular effects could be putting their lives at risk, but our luxury cocaine addiction treatment at Seaside Palm Beach could help you quit without having to sacrifice your standard of living.

To get help for yourself or someone you care about for a substance abuse problem, call us today at 561-677-9374.



  1. NIH – What are the short-term effects of cocaine use?
  2. NCBI – Acute and Chronic Effects of Cocaine on Cardiovascular Health
  3. NIH – What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?
  4. NIH – Side Effects of Cocaine Abuse: Multiorgan Toxicity and Pathological Consequences
  5. ScienceDaily – Cocaine Triggers Heart Attacks Within One Hour

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