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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Permanent Damage from Previous Drug Use

12/10/2009

Question:

Hello,

Currently I am 32 years old. In my teens and early twenties, I experimented with drugs; MDMA, cocaine, etc. I am now clean and have been for about 7 years. I live a very healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise and healthy diet.

Recently I have become very aware of palpitations (I think PVC/PAC`s). I am also suffering from bouts anxiety which has been on and off since I was 18, and more on for the past year. I have done a cardiac work-up, EKG, Stress, Echo and Holter. Everything came back normal, but the palps did not occur during any of the tests. The echo showed trivial regurgitation in the mitral and tricuspid valves, which I understand in common.

So the question is, would permanent damage from my drug use show up on the tests? Has or will my body heal from the drug use? Is there anything I can do now?

Thank you for you response.

Answer:

The test that I would think might help pick up what is going on with your heart is a 30-day heart monitor that you trigger when you feel it happening.  A Holter is only helpful if it happens during the test.  The 30 day is more likely to pick it up if it happens at least every few weeks. 

I would doubt that this is related to prior drug usage; it would be hard to know for sure. 
The only thing to do now is to continue to remain sober and consider the above test with your doctor.


Good Luck. Thank you for visiting NetWellness.

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Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University