The emotional cost of drug addiction is well-known, but afflicted individuals who fail to seek treatment from rehab facilities are also at risk for several health problems. For example, a new study has linked the use of amphetamines to a life-threatening cardiovascular condition in young people.
According to the study published in the American Heart Journal, individuals between the ages of 18 and 49 who abuse these types of drugs may have a higher risk of aortic tears.
The aorta is the largest artery in the body that pumps blood out of the heart, and aortic dissection can quickly lead to death due to exsanguination.
The study, which was conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, also found that in parts of the U.S. where the use of amphetamines is more common – including California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington state – the rate of aortic tear was three times higher than the national average.
According to lead study author Dr. Arthur Westover, assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern, this condition is rare among young people and, therefore, “doctors should screen young adults with aortic dissection for amphetamine abuse in searching for a potential cause.”
Amphetamine users may seek help from substance abuse treatment centers before their problem progresses to the the point where it may endanger their lives.