What is the relationship between substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms and cardiac problems?

Drug addiction or substance abuse is one of the biggest nightmares in anyone’s life. This disease is far more prevalent now than it was a few years earlier because there is far more exposure and immoral people trafficking drugs purely for quick financial gains. To tackle these problems good de-addiction centres and rehabs are increasingly being established.

It is in our own interest to keep an eye on our near and dear ones, look out for drug addiction or substance abuse, or alcohol or cigarette consumption signs. Even withdrawal symptoms are pointers of addictions.

What are withdrawal symptoms one may ask? These are the unpleasant physical reactions of a person who is in the process of kicking an addiction. For example a person voluntarily decides to quit smoking. They might try to reduce gradually or go “cold turkey” that is abruptly and completely stop at one go. There are advantages and disadvantages in both scenarios. Withdrawal symptoms occur in both types of cessation – which is why it is better to take professional help from experts at a de-addiction centre, a rehab, or a drug recovery centre.

Recovery is accompanied with withdrawal symptoms, which can get very severe in many cases. Severity of these symptoms can cause:

  • Arrhythmias: As the name suggests Arrhythmia is irregular or abnormal heartbeat. Since it is not a normal condition, it can lead to many kinds of cardiac issues.
  • Brain haemorrhages: This is an emergency condition in which a blood vessel in the brainis ruptured and causes bleeding inside. One of the factors of haemorrhage could be high, low or fluctuating blood pressure – a side effect of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Peripheral artery disease: In this condition the arteries get narrowed due to various factors including substance abuse, and restrict the circulation of blood. Addiction and withdrawal symptoms are also contributing factors.
  • Death associated with acute cardiovascular diseases: Any untreated or unattended cardiac ailments can lead to death.

It is not easy trying to get rid of addictions. It is not like switch-on switch-off. It is very difficult to quit because of symptoms that occur while trying to get away from that happy contented feeling into a normal world. Changes in thebody while trying to quit are known as withdrawal symptoms.


  • Tremors (trembling), rapid breathing and pulse, high blood pressure sweating, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, hyper-activity, irritability, nightmares sleeplessness, restlessness are some of the symptoms of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Hallucinations are common in people who are withdrawing from alcohol. Hallucinations make the individual to “see” many kinds of moving objects like animals, people or other objects. Such hallucinations can be very vivid leading the person to believe the detailed scenario.
  • Seizures.
  • Delirium: causes dangerous shifts in your breathing, blood circulation and temperature. It can cause rapid heartbeat, and fluctuations in blood pressure blood pressure. Dehydration is a dangerous symptom of Delirium. Blood flow to the brain can also be erratic. Other symptoms of delirium include confusion, disorientation, stupor or loss of consciousness, nervous or angry behaviour, and irrational beliefs, soaking sweats, sleep disturbances and hallucinations.

To avoid the above fatal consequences or relapses, the best thing would be to find a good rehab or drug treatment centre with a well-equipped medical and psychiatric team that can manage and monitor the addict during withdrawals