Pandemic drug abuse threatens the heart, life


American Heart Association News
Health Day reporter

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 (American Heart Association News)-Dr. Eric Lavonas was hit by another tragic three-strike combo while he was in the Denver Health Emergency Room on another day.

“During the nine-hour shift, I took care of a Chest pain From cocaine, Someone Opioids excess Who stops breathing, someone Methamphetamine He said: “Use the kind of person who thinks he is being chased by the metamorphosis. Sadly, this is no longer a rare situation.

Lavonas is also a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado, who looks like PandemicThe surge related to addiction, Illegal drugs It hurts the soul and threatens lives.

By late June last year, 13% of Americans reported starting or increasing drug use in response coronavirusA report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that stress or emotions are related to mental stress.

The CDC reported in December drug Fatal drug overdose began to rise in the early stages of the pandemic, presumably because the lockdown, financial pressures and uncertainty about the future have stimulated the increase in drug use. The CDC preliminary summary released last week counted nearly 90,000 overdose deaths in the 12 months ending September 2020, an increase of 29% from the previous period. It exceeded the number of more than 80,000 deaths reported in May last year, when health officials said it was the highest record in 12 months.

carry on

Lavonas said that although the latest statistics are not yet available, “everyone thinks that this year’s numbers have risen. People are under increasing pressure. pressure They lack social connections more than ever. “

Lavonas helped write the American Heart Association’s scientific statement last month, warning of opioid overdose (currently the leading cause of death in Americans aged 25 to 64) and encouraging non-medical people to learn how to use opioids Naloxone, Can solve the problem of opioid overdose.

Dr. Isac Thomas, a cardiologist at the University of California San Diego Health Center, responded to concerns about opioid abuse, but was also shocked by methamphetamine, a powerful, highly addictive stimulant.

carry on

Thomas said: “I don’t think there is enough attention to the seriousness of this problem, especially in the field of heart disease.” Thomas recently led two studies that compared the use of methamphetamine with heart failure. “Many young people have really shortened their lives.”

The three drugs that Lavonas encountered during shifts punish the heart in different ways.

carry on

Cocaine is called “perfect heart attack Australian researchers presented their findings at a conference in 2012.Studies have found that regular use of illegal stimulants can stiffen arteries and raise them blood pressure And damage the heart muscle – all cause heart attacks and Stroke.

Thomas said similarly, methamphetamine “has a direct toxic effect on the heart.” He said that it can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy, leading to the weakening and expansion of the heart muscle, and ultimately to heart failure.

Thomas said: “We have seen many young men and some young women short of breath, dizzy and exhausted.” “We found that their hearts were severely damaged and could not beat well. This is a very serious disease. Even if they are young, they are at a very high risk of death.”

More directly, methamphetamine can cause unreasonable and even psychotic behavior. Lavonas said: “I have seen people taking methamphetamine die in traffic accidents.”

Opioids have a less direct effect on the heart, but they are also dangerous.

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Lavonas said: “Because of the previous abuse of prescription drugs and heroin has been replaced by fentanyl, opioids have become more deadly, and the effects of fentanyl have become more powerful.” “People get it within minutes of the injection. Die, often by one person.”

They died because illegally produced fentanyl without a controlled or proper dose was so potent that the user fell asleep and stopped breathing.

Lavonas said: “If there is no oxygen to enter the brain and heart, then the brain and heart will die.” “I have great sympathy for those who can not stop using, but every time fentanyl is one time. An unfortunate injection can keep people away from death.”

Thomas warned that injecting any medicine can cause endocarditis, a potentially fatal heart valve infection.

carry on

Both doctors said that there is no simple answer in the fight against addiction.

Thomas said: “We can tell patients about the treatment plan, but we can only control their lives.” “Once discharged from the hospital, they usually fall back into addiction.”

carry on

In the face of the opioid crisis, Lavonas has a double message: “Seek help. There is a good support and treatment system,” he said. “But recovery is done in stages. For those who are not ready to take this step, at least never use it alone, and always use naloxone. As long as you are alive, there is hope.”

For those who need help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s disaster assistance hotline can call 800-985-5990.

American Heart Association News Covers heart and brain health. Not all opinions expressed in the story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. The copyright is owned or owned by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved.If you have questions or comments on this story, please email [email protected]

Michael Precker


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