Using cocaine makes you six times more likely to suffer stroke, a study has found.

Scientists have discovered that every time an adult takes cocaine, their risk of stroke rises six-fold. It is even more dangerous to use crack cocaine, which increases the likelihood of a stroke eight-fold.

The study examined cases involving 1,000 people aged between 15 and 49 who had experienced ischemic stroke for the first time. By analysing the data, they found that stroke was more likely to occur if someone had used cocaine in the previous 24 hours.

The research looked at cases involving people living in Baltimore and Washington DC between 1992 and 2008. They were then compared with data about 1,152 people from similar circumstances who had not experienced stroke.

The research, which was published in the journal Stroke, found that 26 of the participants had taken cocaine within 24 hours of their stroke. And 14 had suffered stroke within six hours of using the class A drug.

Study leader Dr Steven Kittner, of the University of Maryland, said: “We know that cocaine causes rapid increase in blood pressure and can also cause cardiac problems that can lead to stroke. Unfortunately, this is not likely to be a deterrent for addicted users or even for most considering first use.”

Ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel to the brain becomes blocked, often because of a blood clot. Typically, between 10 and 20 young people per 100,000 suffer ischemic stroke.

Smokers are also more likely to be victims

The study also found that stroke victims were more likely to be smokers and many had a history of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Dr Kittner admitted the study did not prove causation but he said it offered strong evidence that the drug could lead to stroke.

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant, which raises the body’s temperature and heart rate and suppresses appetite. The drug is addictive and can cause users to suffer from a heart attack or fit.

Drug tests will allow you to find out whether an individual has been using cocaine or other illegal substances. Employers may choose to carry out workplace testing to monitor substance misuse among staff and courts and official organisations often use drug testing to check whether known addicts are successfully recovering or whether they have suffered a relapse.

AlphaBiolabs offers a range of drug testing services for businesses, courts, local authorities and other organisations. In addition, we also offer peace of mind tests which allow family members to find out more about a loved one’s drug use.

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