Acute Coronary Syndrome and Drug Abuse

Cardiovascular diseases are known to produce devastating symptoms that result in emergencies. One of these conditions is called acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The disease occurs when the human heart receives low volumes of blood. Some of the unique signs of ACS include heart attacks and unstable anginas. Within the past three decades, scholars and researchers have completed numerous studies to explore the potential causes and risk factors for ACS. Unfortunately, the relationship between drug abuse and ACS is not fully understood. The proposed study seeks to address the issue and present evidence-based guidelines to inform the practices of health practitioners and patients.

Problem Statement

Draz, EOreby, Elsheikh, Khedr, and Atlam (2016) define “acute coronary syndrome” as a spectrum of manifestations ranging from unstable angina, ST-segment myocardial infarction, to heart attack. These conditions are usually associated with the complete or partial blockage of arteries that supply the heart with oxygenated blood. When the heart receives inadequate oxygen, some of its parts collapse or become inactive. That being the case, any form of ACS should be treated as an emergency in an attempt to safeguard the life of the affected patient.

According to Singh et al. (2017), atherosclerosis (narrowing/thickening of blood vessels) is the leading cause of this condition. Some of the complaints identified by ACS patients include pain, nausea, palpitation, and decreased tolerance to exercises. In the recent past, physicians and scholars have been focusing on specific risk factors such as preeclampsia, heart disease, chest pain, stroke, and obesity. Consequently, most of the prevention, management, and treatment models for the condition have been informed by these risk factors. Smoking has also been identified as a major malpractice that increases the chances of developing ACS. These breakthroughs have led to the production of appropriate drugs and management plans for the condition.

From 2000, several studies have showed that the use of specific drugs such as cocaine can induce various conditions such as coronary vasoconstriction. Singh et al. (2017) observed that cocaine overuse could result in myocardial toxicity and atherosclerosis. In another study conducted by Draz et al. (2016), marijuana (Cannabis sativa) was identified as one of the leading risk factors for cardiac ischemia. Sanchis-Gomar, Perez-Quilis, Leischik, and Lucia (2016) go further to acknowledge that the abuse of illicit drugs can increase a person’s chances of developing ACS. Unfortunately, past studies have failed to present meaningful results due to the level of stigma and the manner in which these illegal drugs are used in different societies.

From this analysis, it is evident that some studies have linked ACS to the abuse of drugs such as cocaine and marijuana. However, very little is known about the role of different addictive substances in development of ACS and the best approaches to deal with it (Sanchis-Gomar et al., 2016). Additionally, many scholars are yet to understand how stigma and illegalization of these drugs is associated with the problem of ACS.

Purpose of the Study

ACS remains a serious cardiovascular condition that affects many people and causes death. The number of people affected by various cardiovascular diseases is on the rise (Draz et al., 2016). The global society has been unable to minimize the challenges of ACS due to the limited knowledge regarding the causal factors, etiology, and pathophysiology of the condition. This study is, therefore, aimed at identifying different abusers of drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana. Their experiences will also be explored to examine how the malpractices affect various cardiovascular functions. In order to conduct a successful study, online-based questionnaires will be used to ensure that more users are encouraged to participate in the study.

The approach will address different factors that have hindered the success of past studies focusing on the role of illicit drugs in the development of ACS such as stigma. After completing the study, useful information will be gathered to analyze the relationship between ACS and drug abuse (Sanchis-Gomar et al., 2016). The findings will be used to expand the current knowledge and theory. Drug-induced heart attacks and cardiovascular complications will be examined deeper in an attempt to present meaningful insights that can empower and guide more physicians to address the emerging needs of different ACS patients.

The information will also be used to develop superior care delivery models and preventative programs that can reduce the dangers of ACS. This analysis shows that the proposed study will address most of these gaps. Consequently, the findings will inform more people about the challenges and concerns associated with ACS (Singh et al., 2017). This move will also empower more scholars to pursue new studies that can shed more light on the relationship between drug overuse and acute coronary syndrome.


The proposed study will present evidence-based concepts and information that can guide different agencies to implement appropriate primary prevention measures for ACS. Abusers of different drugs will also be empowered and guided to develop desirable plans that can result in abstinence. Consequently, more people and physicians will be in a position to deal with the condition using evidence-based concepts or models.


Draz, E. I., Oreby, M. M., Elsheikh, E. A., Khedr, L. A., & Atlam, S. A. (2016). Marijuana use in acute coronary syndromes. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 43(5), 576-582. Web.

Sanchis-Gomar, F., Perez-Quilis, C., Leischik, R., & Lucia, A. (2016). Epidemiology of coronary heart disease and acute coronary syndrome. Annals of Translational Medicine, 4(13), 256-264. Web.

Singh, V., Rodriguez, A. P., Thakkar, B., Savani, G. T., Patel, N. J., Badheka, A. O., … Goldberger, J. J. (2017). Hospital admissions for chest pain associated with cocaine use in the United States. The American Journal of Medicine, 130(6), 688-698. Web.