Developing a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle During Your Recovery in WV

Prolonged use of substances will negatively impact your health – both mental and physical. One of the most common side effects of drugs and alcohol is on the heart and the cardiovascular system. Drugs can raise or lower your blood pressure to dangerous degrees, send your heart into overdrive, and even cause a heart attack. Repeatedly putting your heart under that kind of stress can cause permanent damage. This is why the best drug and alcohol treatment centers in West Virginia never focus on psychotherapy alone; instead, rehab should help heal your body as well as your mind. Developing a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV is an important part of that as it can prevent further damage to the heart, help you avoid heart disease, and ultimately prolong your life.

The importance of heart health

The heart is easily one of the most important organs in your body. It is what pumps the blood through your body and supplies all the other organs with oxygen and nutrients. A failing or diseased heart can, therefore, lead to a whole host of other physical problems. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens to many Americans. Heart disease is, in fact, the leading cause of death in the United States for people of all genders and races; it accounts for more than 20% of all deaths annually, which makes it deadlier than cancer, COVID-19, accidents, and stroke.

The defibrillator sign on the wall.
Heart disease kills someone every 34 seconds in the United States.

Even if heart disease itself doesn’t kill you, it can still severely impact your health and interfere in your everyday life. A weakened heart can cause changes in blood pressure or irregular heartbeat; those can, in turn, cause vision changes, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, fainting spells, and more. Unaddressed heart issues and blood pressure problems can ultimately lead to a heart attack. While medication can help you control these symptoms, there is only so much damage a heart can take before you need a transplant.

It’s important to address potential heart problems while you are in inpatient drug rehab in WV. You want to discover any problems, drug-related or not, early. That way, you can address them with medication and lifestyle changes and avoid a lot of future problems.

The influence of drugs on the heart and cardiovascular system

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The majority of drugs influence the cardiovascular system, decreasing the heart rate in the case of depressants or increasing it in the case of stimulants. Furthermore, drugs can affect blood vessels, causing them to expand or constrain too much. Finally, if you find yourself in cocaine rehab West Virginia for intravenous drug use, you will probably have experienced collapsing and infected veins. Over time, these changes to your body can lead to serious problems such as heart attacks, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and hyper- or hypotension. You should seriously consider starting a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV if you want to avoid dealing with these issues after rehab.

Pills you'd need to give up for a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV
Many drugs cause or exacerbate heart problems.

Which drugs impact cardiovascular health the most?

Some drugs are known to cause more heart problems than others. The excessive use of alcohol and nicotine over a prolonged period of time is, for example, is highly likely to cause cardiovascular issues. People who require stimulants rehab often experience a lot of heart problems related to arrhythmia and hypertension even after they become sober. Meanwhile, abusing opioids can exacerbate existing cardiovascular problems. Perhaps the most infamous effects on the heart come from cocaine abuse. Cocaine can cause emergencies like a stroke or a heart attack as well as long-term damage like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, structural damage, and congestive heart failure.

How to develop a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV?

When you arrive at the opiate rehab center of your choice, you will be evaluated by medical professionals. They will need to assess your overall health in order to determine the best course of action for treatment (such as whether you should receive medication during detox and what level of care you need during recovery). If they find that you are at a higher risk for heart disease or that you already have heart issues, they will talk to you about further treatment. Even if they find that your heart is still healthy, you should bring up any concerns you may have during your rehab. Your doctor, therapist, and case manager can all work with you to develop a plan for how you can take better care of your cardiovascular health.

Always be honest with medical professionals

The first thing you need to understand is that healthcare workers are here to help you. They don’t care if you did something illegal or embarrassing; they’re used to this, especially if they work in fentanyl rehab centers and have seen first-hand the effects of addiction before. Lying to them or omitting pertinent information will only make their job harder. So, tell them the truth about the substances you’ve used, how often you’ve used them, and how you’ve used them. This will save them the time and effort they’ll otherwise have to put into learning about your health through tests. When it comes to heart health, the time you save with honesty can make a huge difference in your recovery.

Be willing to make lifestyle changes beyond sobriety

The abuse of substances will cause and exacerbate heart problems. However, simply not using substances anymore won’t make those same problems go away. A lot of the health issues that accompany addiction will stick with you long after you leave the meth rehab center West Virginia. If you want to improve your heart health, especially long term, you’ll need to develop healthier habits on top of leaving drugs and alcohol behind. This may include dietary restrictions, exercise regimens, medication, therapy, and more. These changes may be difficult to make, especially when you’ve neglected your health for a long time, but are necessary if you want to live a healthy and long life after addiction.

People preparing healthy food.
A heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV requires more than sobriety – you’ll need to eat better too.

Learn to work around health issues that cannot be treated

Some heart problems cannot be cured. They will simply become a life-long issue that you need to manage. While this sounds scary, you shouldn’t let it discourage you from pursuing a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV. You can still live a full life after West Virginia heroin rehab even if you suffer from a cardiovascular disease. You just need to learn how to make accommodations for your condition. If, for example, high-intensity physical activity gives you heart palpitations, try exercising in ways that don’t increase the heart rate as much such as walking, swimming, or yoga. If low blood pressure causes you to be dizzy or have blurry vision, consider using a cane when you need to go longer distances so you don’t fall down. There are many things you can do to make living your life with a chronic condition easier.

Take better care of your mental health

Some mental conditions, such as anxiety and stress, can negatively impact your heart health. The solution, however, is not to turn to substances again. Instead, you can learn to manage your mental health in constructive ways. The therapy you receive in marijuana rehab West Virginia will help you understand and manage the mental health issues you’re facing. If you find that helpful, you can continue therapy after rehab too. Studies show that mental and physical health are related therefore, improving your mental well-being will improve your overall wellness too.

Tips for developing a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV

If you’ve sought substance abuse treatment WV for your addiction, you’ve already taken the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. Leaving addiction behind will remove a huge health risk from your life. Now that you’re on the right path, you’ll want to take it a step further and incorporate:

The right diet

If you join an inpatient rehab program, you won’t have to worry about eating healthy. Nutritional plans are a part of holistic addiction therapy at many addiction treatment centers. If you are participating in an intensive outpatient program West Virginia, you’ll need to invest time and effort into feeding yourself properly. This is a challenge for many addicts. While addicted, especially to drugs like cocaine and heroin which suppress appetite, many people forget to eat regularly or simply don’t prioritize nutrition. Getting back in the habit of preparing food can be tricky but here are two ways to make cooking easier: make it fun and make it a habit. If you enjoy preparing food, it’ll feel less like a chore. Once you get used to cooking regularly, it’ll simply become routine.


Healthy food - one of the most important aspects of a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV
Eating well is one of the most important aspects of a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV.

When you’re trying to keep your heart healthy, however, you can’t eat just anything. You need to limit the foods that can cause cardiovascular problems. Here are some changes you’ll want to implement in your diet to make it heart-healthy:

  • eat more often, not more – don’t overeat once or twice a day; instead, opt for smaller meals with snacks in between
  • eat more fruit and vegetables – fresh or frozen fruit and veggies should be a staple in your diet; however, avoid canned or sweetened fruit and fried or breaded vegetables
  • opt for whole grain – instead of baked goods with white flour, eat whole-grain or substitute for brown rice
  • get more fiber – in addition to whole grain, look for high-fiber alternatives to ordinary foods
  • reduce sodium – use reduced-sodium condiments and substitute salt for other spices
  • limit unhealthy fats – avoid butter and lard; use margarine, avocado, and vegetable oils instead
  • choose low-fat protein sources – instead of full-fat dairy and meats, focus on low-fat dairy, fish, and lean meats

Exercise and physical activity

Regular physical activity during and after Ambien rehab can be greatly beneficial for heart health. It is a great way to lower high blood pressure and deal with stress and anxiety which can put your heart under strain. Furthermore, it will help you maintain a healthy body weight. Finally, the more you exercise, the better your muscles become at absorbing oxygen from the blood; the better your muscles are at absorbing oxygen, the less the heart needs to pump to supply them with said oxygen.

As is the case with food, however, not all exercise is equally good for your heart. The exercise you want to focus on in order to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV is aerobic exercise or cardio. This includes activities such as brisk walking, hiking, swimming, running, cycling, jumping, and more. Ideally, you’ll want to do this at least 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. The heart itself is a muscle so raising your heart rate regularly and healthily through aerobic exercise can train it to pump better.

Young man jogging as a part of his heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV
Exercise, in particular cardio, can help keep your heart healthy.

Treatment for other medical conditions

Unrelated medical conditions can put strain on the heart and ultimately lead to heart disease. This includes different infections, respiratory problems, stress, high and low blood pressure, and more. To reduce the risk of heart disease, you’ll want to treat other health issues that may cause your heart to go into overdrive. Depending on the condition, this treatment may include physical therapy, lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery. However, before you start treatment, make sure to get informed on any medications included in it. Many people end up in benzodiazepine rehab centers for abusing medication that has been prescribed to them by a doctor for legitimate medical reasons. If you have a history of addiction, you’ll want to be prepared for the addiction potential of any prescription medication you might take.

Limiting the use of harmful substances

Illegal drugs might not be the only substance that’s harming your heart. Prescription medications, alcohol, nicotine, even just regular sugar and table salt – all of these can contribute to heart disease. It’s in your best interest to limit their intake or completely cut them out. Luckily, barbiturates rehab will give you the tools to leave any kind of addiction behind. Once you know how to stop abusing barbiturates, putting nicotine and alcohol in the past is also within reach.

Developing a healthy mindset

One of the things that often leads to addiction is disordered thinking. Disordered thinking manifests, for example, as believing everyone hates you because of your addiction, defining yourself only by your mistakes, and expecting perfection to the point of giving up if something doesn’t go exactly as you want it to. This is common in people with disorders such as anxiety, BPD and OCD. It can occasionally also occur in people with an otherwise healthy psyche. You’ll meet a lot of people in sober living WV who struggle to control such thoughts.

A person drinking coffee on a small balcony as a part of living a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV
Finding your inner peace and developing a positive outlook on the world can make a huge difference in your life.

It’s important, however, to train your brain into healthy thinking patterns. Don’t get hung up on the details and cut yourself some slack. This will reduce the amount of stress in your everyday life; less stress means less strain on your heart. Finally, be optimistic. Believe in yourself, your recovery, and your future. Research has shown that people with a positive outlook on life tend to be happier and more successful.

The importance of developing a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV

Given that heart disease is such a serious and widespread issue, pretty much everyone could benefit from focusing more on their heart health. Of course, lifestyle changes can only do so much – some heart conditions are genetic and cannot be avoided. However, the risks can be limited with the right dietary, exercise, and mental health practices.

This is especially important for those who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease than the average person; people with substance abuse disorder, especially those who are addicted to cocaine and other stimulants, are in the high-risk group. If you fit this description, then you’ll definitely want to develop a heart-healthy lifestyle during your recovery in WV. Not only will this help you avoid heart issues in the future, but it’ll also improve your overall health as the lifestyle changes you’ll need to implement have a positive effect on other aspects of health too. A heart-healthy lifestyle can, therefore, help you live your sober life to the fullest.


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