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Effects of smoking meth and cocaine in body.

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HI. I was having upper back pain on my left side for most of the day. It hurt when I took deep breaths. Then Tonight the pain moved to the left side of my torso about 5 inches under my armpit. It is a sharp pain and it hurts to breath.

I should also mention that in the last 2 months i have went from smoking a pack a day to a pack and a half. I also started smoking meth and cocaine this week in the last 6 days. Other than that I take anti-anxiety meds and drink a lot of alcohol. I have been parting all night and the pain is becoming unbearable when I breath or move. Can you please help

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

The fact that it hurts when taking deep breath means that the pain is pleuritic (originates from the pleural lining of the lungs) . While normally this can occur in minor viral infections or lung inflammation the consumption of cocaine and methamphetamine complicates the picture. Both can cause serious inflammation in the lung.

Also acute cocaine can cause constriction of your arteries resulting in cardiac complications due to the increased demand of oxygen by the heart along with other complications like bronchospasm, acute pulmonary syndrome, myocarditis, pneumothorax etc. Methamphetamines are known to cause similar cardiac problems like cocaine.

So bottom line is that use of the recreational drugs puts you at a higher risk for complication. Still most likely it could be a simple pleuritis, which can resolve on its own. If you have access to medical care I recommend consulting your Doctor. An ECG and Chest Xray will be needed. Meanwhile you take take an OTC pain medication like Ibuprofen 400 mg twice a day.

Sever chest pain. sweating, palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness, syncope etc are warning signs and in case if any of these symptoms are present you should get medical help without any delay.

I will keep this consult so that you can get back to me at a later stage. Take rest, avoid exertion. DO NOT smoke / use drugs. Do take the NSAID pain medication (Ibuprofen) as it will help in supressing the inflammation.

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask followups.

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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