The opioid epidemic has become impossible to ignore as it continues to spread throughout our communities. If you’re like many others struggling with opioid abuse, you probably didn’t mean for it to get this far; it’s just that the stress of your life or the pain from an injury became too much to bear.

While opioids may offer fast-acting relief, they come with a cost. Among its many detriments to your physical health, opioid abuse can damage your heart. In this blog, we’ll review how opioids affect your heart health.

Can Opioids Cause Heart Problems?

Since its inception, opioids have played a significant role in modern medicine for managing pain. Opioids work by attaching themselves to receptors in the brain and spinal cord to reduce the intensity of pain signals.

While alleviating in the moment, these drugs slow down your central nervous system and put a great deal of stress on your heart. This increases your risk for severe heart complications, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation (fast and irregular heart rhythms): Opioids can interfere with the electrical signals your brain sends to your heart. This disruption can create an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease and blood clots. If a permanent heart rhythm abnormality occurs, you may struggle to do normal activities, like exercise.
  • Heart infections: If you inject opioids like heroin into your body, you’re at a greater chance of developing heart infections. The bacteria and other particulates in the drug can block the blood vessels leading to you heart, stressing the heart muscle and leading to life-threatening impediments.
  • Vasodilation (dilated blood vessels): Opioid abuse can widen your blood vessels. Wider blood vessels cause low blood pressure, which can lead to permanent damage to your heart and brain.

Heart Complications from Opioid Withdrawal

If you’re dependent on opioids, you’re likely to experience heart issues during withdrawal. It’s one of the main reasons why you should seek professional detox services. Medical professionals can monitor your health and help you manage withdrawal symptoms safely to avoid heart problems, such as:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Elevated blood pressure

Detox services can also help you avoid relapse and life-threatening overdoses. Opioid withdrawal increases your heart rate, since your body is used to a more depressed heart rhythm. Feeling like your heart is racing can trigger stress and anxiety, tempting you to use opioids again to feel better. Detox management from an addiction treatment center like Fountain Hills Recovery can help you get through withdrawal without relapsing and putting your health and life at continued risk.

Recover from Opioid Addiction at Fountain Hills Recovery

Fountain Hills Recovery is the top-rated luxury addiction and mental health treatment center in Arizona. It’s our goal to provide you with cutting-edge and compassionate addiction care that can help you achieve lasting recovery.

Our expert team can help you uncover the underlying causes behind your opioid addiction through individual therapy, group therapy and other experiential activities. Once you understand your addiction, you’ll learn healthy coping skills and relapse prevention techniques to maintain your sobriety.

If you’re ready to reclaim your life from opioid addiction, we’re here to support you. Contact our admissions team today to find out how to get started.