When to Worry About Heart Palpitations

heart palpitations

Long-term drug and alcohol use can damage organs and tissues throughout your body, including your heart and cardiovascular system. Irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation, is a common side effect of drinking and drug abuse. It’s also a leading cause of stroke, heart failure and related complications. Here’s what you need to know.

Drugs That Cause Heart Palpitations

Have you ever felt your heart flutter, skip a beat or hammer in your chest? Heart palpitations can occur for many reasons, and typically are not a cause for concern. However, if you regularly drink alcohol or take prescription or illicit drugs, you should be aware of the potential adverse effects on your cardiovascular system.

  • Alcohol has an array of effects on the body, including atrial fibrillation. Even in moderation, alcohol can cause an irregular heartbeat. The morning after binge drinking, many people experience a pounding heart.
  • Amphetamines of all kinds, including meth and Adderall, can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat that may lead to heart attack.
  • Cocaine can lead to heart failure, arrhythmia, myocarditis, endocarditis and a condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, or enlarged heart.
  • Inhalants, steroids, hallucinogens and heroin have dangerous side effects that include severe increase in heart rate, infections of the heart lining or valves and heart failure.

When to See a Doctor About Your Heart

While heart palpitations are common and usually medically benign, they can still be frightening. Knowing when to worry about heart palpitations can help you and your doctor catch certain conditions early so you can seek the appropriate treatment option.

You should contact your doctor if you frequently experience heart palpitations that last longer than a few seconds at a time, or if you have accompanying side effects like dizziness, loss of consciousness, chest or upper body pain, nausea, excessive or unusual sweating and shortness of breath.

Proven Addiction Treatment for Professionals

The disease of addiction is so all-consuming that it can cause you to neglect all your other responsibilities – including looking after your health. Still, your well-being matters, and it’s not too late to ask for help before you do irreversible damage to your body.

You can increase your chances of achieving long-term recovery by entering a qualified treatment program. At Providence Treatment, we have created a comfortable and confidential environment designed for high-achieving professionals. Our unique facility is ideal for those seeking a personal transformation with a goal of continuing their careers.

Our team of experienced clinicians can evaluate, diagnose and provide effective and proven therapies with a personalized approach. If you are losing control of your life due to substance abuse, it’s time to address your problems head-on. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you heal all facets of your life.

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