Gulf Breeze Recovery on Methamphetamine Deaths - Autopsies Reveal the Truth

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Methamphetamine permanently harms the heart. It increases risks of heart attack and death. Autopsies definitively prove it. Through autopsies, doctors are getting a better understanding of how the damage occurs

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"We found methamphetamine has profound harmful effects on the cardiovascular system and results in irreversible damage to the heart, raising the risk of a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, and heart failure," states the co-lead author Chowdhury Abdullah

Autopsies don’t lie. They report the causes of death as well as what has caused damage or injury to the body.

Methamphetamine permanently harms the heart. It increases risks of heart attack and death. Autopsies definitively prove it. Through autopsies, doctors are getting a better understanding of how the damage occurs.

An August 1, 2019 article in U.S. News and World Report discussed findings researchers from Louisiana State University presented to the American Heart Association."We found methamphetamine has profound harmful effects on the cardiovascular system and results in irreversible damage to the heart, raising the risk of a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, and heart failure," postdoctoral fellow at LSU's Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and study co-lead author Chowdhury Abdullah said in the heart association news release.

In comparison to samples from non-users, samples from the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) in meth users showed:

  • Increased deposits of collagen (stiff protein fibers) around the blood vessels.
  • Accumulation of collagen throughout the spaces between heart muscle cells.

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a stimulant that is absorbed in the digestive tract and is metabolized primarily in the liver. It speeds up systems in the body. Methamphetamine is sometimes legally prescribed as Desoxyn®(Methamphetamine Hydrochloride tablets) to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or obesity.

Even when taken with medical supervision and used as prescribed, Desoxyn comes with warnings from the manufacturer of the possibility for serious cardiovascular events. The manufacturer of the medication warning states that sudden death has been reported in association with CNS (central nervous system) stimulant treatment at usual doses in children and adolescents with structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems, and that sudden deaths, stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at usual doses for ADHD.

The Food and Drug Administration requires a black box warning on a prescription drug’s label that is designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks. The prescription black box warning for Desoxyn states:

Methamphetamine has a high potential for abuse. Particular attention should be paid to the possibility of subjects obtaining methamphetamine for non-therapeutic use or distribution to others, and the drug should be prescribed or dispensed sparingly. Misuse of methamphetamine may cause sudden death and serious cardiovascular adverse events

Those risks naturally multiply for individuals who are using methamphetamine recreationally that is produced and sold illegally with no controls for purity or dosage.

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 1.6 million people (0.6 percent of the population) reported using methamphetamine in the past year, and 774,000 (0.3 percent) reported using it in the past month. The average age of new methamphetamine users in 2016 was 23.3 years old.

In 2017, Newsroom reported that illegal methamphetamine use was on the rise with U.S. veterans, as was heart failure associated with methamphetamine use. A study was completed of 9,588 veterans who were patients at the San Diego VA Medical center and were diagnosed with heart failure between 2005 and 2015. They found that meth use increased from 1.7 percent among VA heart failure patients in 2005 to 8 percent in 2015.

Other pertinent findings on the veterans who reported using methamphetamine were:

  • Meth users with heart failure, with an average age of 61, were notably younger than non-meth user heart failure patients, whose average age was 72 years.
  • Meth users were more likely to have psychiatric issues, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
  • Meth patients tended to visit the emergency department more often compared to heart failure patients without meth use.

Autopsies confirm, Methamphetamine is deadly.

About Gulf Breeze Recovery: Gulf Breeze Recovery, one of the holistic treatment centers in Florida, is changing the future of addiction treatment with the THRIVE® program focused on overcoming chronic relapse. Gulf Breeze Recovery’s THRIVE® program is a non-12-step approach and individualized designed for those who are looking for a drug and alcohol treatment program to produce a different and positive result. This non-12 step program allows you to drive beyond your addictions and promotes a new outlook on life. For more information about our program or to speak with an Addiction’s expert, please call 855-973-3551 or contact us.

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Barnett Gilmer
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