On December 23, five years ago, I was Christmas shopping when I received an emergency call from my ex-wife. She said, "Richard, come home quick, Wade's dying." I jumped in my car and drove home as fast as I could. I found my 12-year old son lying on the patio. He'd been inhaling air freshener, and he'd collapsed. When the paramedics arrived, we worked on him for an hour and a half, en route to the hospital and at the hospital. He'd suffered a cardiac arrest. When we stopped CPR on my son and I watched the monitor go flat, I was devastated.
Researchers have found a connection between the abuse of most drugs and adverse cardiovascular effects, ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Injection drug use can also lead to cardiovascular problems such as collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves.