heartFebruary is American Heart Month, a yearly event sponsored by the American Heart Association. The organization has invested nearly $4 billion over the years into research into research into the causes and treatments for heart disease, making them the leading sponsor of such research not including the federal government. American Heart Month has been observed annually since 1964, and this year’s event was ushered in by a proclamation from President Obama. In it, he said that “We have lost devoted mothers and fathers, loved siblings, and cherished friends to this devastating epidemic,” referring to the fact that more than 17 million Americans die of heart disease every year. The President went on to call on citizens to spend time during American Heart Month to “honor their memories [and] recommit to improving our heart health and continuing the fight against this deadly disease, for ourselves and our families.” Heart disease accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States, making it the leading single cause of death among both men and women. Narconon Arrowhead is heeding the President’s call to action, and it helping to spread the word about American Heart Month.

The goals of Narconon, to rehabilitate lives ruined by drug and alcohol abuse and to prevent substance abuse and addiction throughout the country, line up closely with the purpose of American Heart Month. This event is intended to make more Americans aware of heart disease, its risk factors and steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of it. Alignment of the goals of Narconon and American Heart Month align in the broad sense, given that both aim to save lives and raise the level of public health, but there are also ways in which they converge more closely. Drug abuse is not good for the heart, and some drugs have particularly harmful effects on cardiac health. Cocaine, for example, can cause atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries become hardened, and both cocaine and heroin are recognized as increasing the risk of a heart attack. Alcohol, likewise, is also associated with problems for heart health. According to the American Heart Association, alcohol can damage heart health by raising the levels of triglycerides in the blood, a type of fat which increases the risk of heart disease. Alcohol can also cause high blood pressure (hypertension), and the fact that drinking alcohol increases one’s calorie intake means that there is additionally a greater risk of obesity, another risk factor for heart disease.

Narconon Shares Tips for Better Heart Health

As part of the effort for American Heart Month, the American Heart Association recommends several steps that one can take to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiac disease. One of the most important of these is to avoid alcohol or to drink only in moderation. Another is to quit smoking. Others include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Manage cholesterol levels
  • Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if one is overweight
  • Consume less salt, using spices instead for flavoring

There is no single thing that you can do to prevent heart disease, but by following the guidelines above and generally striving to live a healthy lifestyle, you can give yourself a better chance of staying safe. Additionally, it is important to get your heart health checked on a regular basis, including blood work to monitor cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, since high blood pressure often does not cause any symptoms until a major medical event occurs. And if you currently drink or use drugs, do everything you can to quit and get sober, because every day you engage in substance abuse you put your heart that much more at risk.

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