Drugs of abuse are frequently associated with stroke, especially in the young. In this article, the author reviews the clinical features and pathophysiology of stroke related to drug abuse.
Drugs of abuse increase the risk of both ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage.
Stimulants such as amphetamines, cocaine, and phencyclidine cause a sympathetic surge with elevated blood pressure and vasospasm.
Heroin-associated strokes are most often attributed to infectious complications such as endocarditis or ruptured mycotic aneurysm.