Strokes are the fifth highest cause of death in the U.S., killing almost 130,000 Americans every year. More than 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year. For over half of those Americans, it's their first.
87% of all strokes are ischemic, which means that blood flow to the brain is blocked, causing the cells to die and the brain tissue to become irrevocably damaged.
While everyone is at risk from suffering a stroke, drug users that use stimulant drugs such as cocaine and methamphetime are at a higher risk of ischemic strokes. This is because these stimulants can induce hypertension and other vascular toxicity, which can lead to strokes.
The collapsed area of the brain in the image below is an infarct (an area of dead tissue). Though this stroke survivor died of other causes, it's possible to see that the damage to the brain may have given rise to the classic symptoms of a stroke: immobility, inability to feel, loss of vision, loss of hearing, and speech and cognitive problems.
[H/T: Neuropathology Web]