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Which is safer speed or cocaine? How does it affect a person with mild blood pressure?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I am wondering what is safer for your heart, speed or cocaine. I am doing a paper for university and would like a doctors opinion please. How would it effect a male, 30, currently with mildly high blood pressure. Thank you.
Posted Wed, 27 Nov 2013 in Drug Abuse
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Brief Answer: both increase blood pressure, heart rate Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic There is a part of the nervous system called the sympathetic system. When activated it increases heart rate, blood pressure, causes contraction of blood vesels. In addition to activating this system, cocaine also causes the release of other substances (endothelin-1) that also contract the blood vessels (causing a further increase in the blood pressure). Cocaine therefore ,in summary (1) increases the heart rate which decreases the heart ability to eject enough blood (there is a decrease in something called ejection fraction) and results in abnormal rhythms of the heart (2)increases blood pressure (3)narrows the blood vessels to the heart and therefore reduce heart blood flow, this can lead to clots, heart failure Because the person in question already has high blood pressure which would already be placing some stress on the heart, the use of cocaine would cause this pressure to rise along with the other complications mentioned. Speed is the name given to drugs in the amphetamine family. Amphetamines are also stimulatants. They also affect the same sympathetic system. This means they also increases the heart rate, blood pressure and lead to irregular rhythms of the heart. It can lead to heart failure as well. Neither would be consider safe or significantly safer than the other. Cocaine may cause more vasoconstriction (contraction of blood vessels) and is more addictive but this does not mean that the amphetamine is safer. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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