Opioid Use and Heart Palpitations (Cardiac Arrhythmia)

Opioid Use and Heart Palpitations (Cardiac Arrhythmia)

Opioids are synthesized narcotics often used either as prescription painkillers or as addiction treatment medications. They are highly addictive and cause a wide range of side effects when abused for an extended period of time, including the following:

  • Sedation
  • Dangerously slowed heartbeat and breathing
  • Brain damage
  • Nervous system damage
  • Decreased digestion (anorexia, critical constipation)
  • Stupor
  • Coma

If you or a loved one is addicted to opioids, seek professional treatment immediately to avoid the more damaging effects of these drugs.

What Are Heart Palpitations?

Faint electrical charges spark the heart to beat and pump blood throughout the body. When these charges get short-circuited they can cause the heart to slow dangerously or to increase rapidly and irregularly. A “palpitation” occurs when the heart loses its internal rhythm and skips beats. Heart palpitations can be extremely frightening and possibly dangerous. They cause individuals to panic, which can in turn lead to additional heart irregularities.

While heart palpitations themselves are not frequently associated with opioid use, many individuals who are addicted to pain medications suffer from additional conditions or habits that may cause an irregular heartbeat. Some examples of co-occurring issues affecting the heart functions of an opioid addict are as follows:

  • The use of other drugs such as stimulants
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption

The immune system of an opioid addict is also often compromised. This means that they may be vulnerable to viruses that attack the heart. Drugs, especially opioids, are extremely dangerous to the wellness of the heart and to health in general.

Safely Ending Opioid Addiction

If you have become addicted to prescription painkillers or other synthetic opiates, please call our toll-free helpline immediately. Heart palpitations, panic attacks and other serious side effects can be deadly. Some people are more sensitive than others and may experience potentially fatal effects of substance abuse. However, quitting can also be dangerous without close medical supervision. Our treatment programs offer carefully monitored detox that can relieve many of the worst withdrawal symptoms while slowly weaning the addict off of the opioids. Heart palpitations and other painful and frightening symptoms can be common during detox, so quitting without close medical attention is not recommended.

Opioid addiction is a physical and psychological disease that must be treated comprehensively and carefully. Our counselors can connect you with the most successful opioid addiction treatment programs in the country. Through strategic and empowering counseling, coping skill development, relational connections, group support meetings and education, these programs have helped millions of addicts get clean for good. Don’t put your heart health, or your life, at risk. Call now for immediate, confidential help.