A link between drug usage and strokes in young adults
Cardiovascular complications are diagnoses Doctors frequently deal with cardiovascular complications in patients over 65. However, doctors are noticing an increase in patients suffering strokes at an alarmingly young age. The theory behind this is that the younger generation are consuming illicit drugs at a higher rate. Doctors are not foreign to the concept that marijuana and cocaine are directly related to the increased risk of strokes associated with the drugs. The American Heart Association launched a new study that investigates the trends in illegal drug use in a cohort group comprised of individuals ranging in ages from 18 to 54 who have had a stroke.
The study examined drug tests from the last 20 years as well as self-reported data, which included more than 2,200 young adults who had suffered a stroke in the greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. What they found was shocking. Though alcohol and tobacco consumption in stroke victims remained stable, drug consumption increased at an alarming rate. Reports of stroke victims consuming drugs was reported in 1993 at about 4.4 percent and rapidly grew to 30.3 percent in 2015. Dr. Felipe De Los Rios La Rosa (is this the correct name?!) suggested that this rapid increase in consumption is in direct relation to the opioid epidemic, increased hospital drug screening and the declining stigma behind cannabis, which has resulted in more patients self-reporting their consumption. Despite the declining stigma behind cannabis Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital cardiologist and a Harvard medical professor, states that even though cannabis isn’t as harmful or addictive as cocaine, it still poses health risks.
Cultural norms can significantly impact the way patients view drug usage, with the increasing legalization of cannabis across the country we are encountering a rapid increase in consumer habits. What many patients don’t realize is that cannabis has scientifically been linked to heart attacks and strokes, which is shocking to most people. What frightens Dr. Felipe De Los Rios La Rosa is the increasing trend of designer drugs such as bath salts, K2 and synthetic cannabis and the lack of studies on the health impact of these synthetic drugs. He would like to see future studies explore the health effects of these drugs. One of the greatest threats of these synthetic drugs is that they can’t test for them in the emergency room.
The usage of cocaine and cannabis are directly related to the increase in cardiovascular diagnoses of the cohort group made up of 18-54-year-olds. What we don’t know is the impact synthetic drugs have on the cardiovascular system. Modified chemicals in synthetic drugs along with other illicit drugs are a hazard to your health and doctors strongly advise you to refrain from consuming them. If you believe your drug usage has impacted your health, it is recommended to reach out to your doctor immediately.