Whitney Houston’s Death: Is There A Cocaine-Heart Attack Connection?

(BlackDoctor.org) — The Los Angeles County Coroner recently released the official cause of Whitney Houston’s tragic death – drowning. However, the report also noted that atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use were also contributing factors.

A source connected to the investigation has stated that it is “very possible” that Whitney had a heart attack that caused her to lose consciousness and drown. The heart attack may have been triggered by hardening of the arteries as a result of cocaine use.

Read more about this breaking news from NewsOne.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance derived from the South American cocoa plant. It can be injected, snorted, or rubbed on the inside of the mouth.  Depending on the method of use, the outcome may vary as a result of how the cocaine affects that part of the body. You can check for cocaine by taking a urine, blood, saliva, sweat or hair follicle test – depending on how it is delivered into the system, it can take anywhere from four hours to ten hours to be detected, and, on average, cocaine can remain in your system for about 3 days.

Why is Cocaine So Dangerous?

The reality of cocaine hits after the high. Cocaine has powerful negative effects on the heart, brain, and emotions. Many cocaine users fall prey to addiction, with long-term and life threatening consequences. Even occasional users run the risk of sudden death with cocaine use.

• Powdered cocaine — commonly known on the street as “coke” or “blow” — dissolves in water. Users can snort or inject powdered cocaine.

• Crack cocaine — commonly known on the street as “crack” or “rock” — is made by a chemical process that leaves it in its “freebase” form, which can be smoked.
About 14% of U.S. adults have tried cocaine. One in 40 adults has used it in the past year. Young men aged 18 to 25 are the biggest cocaine users, with 8% using it in the previous 12 months.

Exactly How Does Cocaine Hurt The Body?

Cocaine produces its powerful high by acting on the brain. But as cocaine travels through the blood, it affects the whole body. Cocaine is responsible for more U.S. emergency room visits than any other illegal drug. Cocaine harms the brain, heart, blood vessels, and lungs — and can even cause sudden death. Here’s what happens in the body:

Heart. Cocaine is bad for the heart. Cocaine increases heart rate and blood pressure while constricting the arteries supplying blood to the heart. The result can be a heart attack, even in young people without heart disease. Cocaine can also trigger a deadly abnormal heart rhythm called arrhythmia.

Brain. Cocaine can constrict blood vessels in the brain, causing strokes. This can happen even in young people without other risk factors for strokes. Cocaine causes seizures and can lead to bizarre or violent behavior.

Lungs and respiratory system.
Snorting cocaine damages the nose and sinuses. Regular use can cause nasal perforation. Smoking crack cocaine irritates the lungs and, in some people, causes permanent lung damage.

Gastrointestinal tract. Cocaine constricts blood vessels supplying the gut. The resulting oxygen starvation can cause ulcers, or even perforation of the stomach or intestines.

Kidneys. Cocaine can cause sudden, overwhelming kidney failure through a process called rhabdomyolysis. In people with high blood pressure, regular cocaine use can accelerate the long-term kidney damage caused by high blood pressure.

Sexual function.
Although cocaine has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, it actually may make you less able to finish what you start. Chronic cocaine use can impair sexual function in men and women. In men, cocaine can cause delayed or impaired ejaculation.