injecting drugs

Hidden Dangers of Injecting Drugs

In For Addicts by Rebecca Flad

This may be obvious, but injecting drugs into your bloodstream can be a serious danger. You could possibly introduce your body to harmful bacteria and viruses, causing long-term complications. That’s where the hidden dangers come in, they’re the once that you can’t see. They’re the dangers that hide behind euphoria and escape.

Intravenous Usage as Opposed to Others

There are many ways to get drugs into your body. That includes oral consumption, snorting, smoking or injection. Intravenous, or IV, usage is the fastest way to introduce the effects of the drug you’re using to your body. Once the drugs come in contact with the bloodstream, it is quickly interpreted by the brain producing euphoric and other bodily effects. Here are some drugs that can be injected:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbituates
  • Methamphetamine
  • Painkillers
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines
  • Buprenorphine

What are the Hidden Dangers of Injecting Drugs?

Immediate Side Effects

Injecting drugs can lead to a serious of immediate, short-term heath issues that can be a nuisance. Some of them include:

  • Skin discoloration.

Prior to when a person injects drugs into their body, they may put a flame to the needle to “sterilize” it. This can cause soot and carbon to become stuck underneath the skin, giving a tattoo appearance to the injection site.

  • Inflamed, collapsed or clogged veins/blood vessels.

Constantly injecting drugs into the same site will cause those surrounding veins to collapse and become inflamed. This also happens when a blunt or thick needle is used to inject the drugs.

  • Tissue damage.

Tissue damage, or skin popping, is a result of injecting drugs underneath the skin or into a muscle as opposed to directly into the vein. This can be done by accident or purposely, either way it is dangerous and lead to scarring and muscle tissue lumping.

  • Puncture marks, track lines and bruising.
  • Skin infections and bacteria.
  • Bodily swelling and puffiness on hands, feet and legs.

Long-Term Effects

Serious, long-term effects on injecting drugs include the ones that you cannot see until it’s too late. Many of these diseases go unnoticed until they get very severe. These include:

  • AIDS, resulting from HIV exposure.
  • Malnourishment and severe weight loss.
  • Impotence.
  • Servere psychosis.
  • Heart disease and failure.
  • Stroke.
  • Seizures and convulsions.
  • Comatose.
  • Suicidal tendencies.
  • Hepatitis C.
  • Mental disorder.

Sharing Needles

Many of the long and short term effects of injecting drugs are a result of needle sharing. Potential life-long diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C are the common results of needle sharing. Needles and injectable drugs should never be shared as to lower the risk of spreading HIV and Hepatitis C viruses.

When a needle is reused for injecting drugs, the DNA of the previous’ user is still present. This means that whatever infection or transmittable disease that person had will now be introduced into the bloodstream of the new user.

Death and Overdose

The most common form of drug overdose and death is a result of injecting drugs and intravenous drug usage. This is mainly a result of contracting the HIV virus.  It is also common to inject too much drugs at once through intravenous methods. The quickest form of overdose is via injection due to it’s instant reaction and interaction with the body.

Using a drug over and over can easily lead to overdose when it is injected into the body. This is because of an increased tolerance and the user getting used to the drug being injected. A user may become unaware of the effects of injecting too much drugs at a time, leading to unintentional overdose a lot of the time.

If you or anyone you know is addicted to drugs or opiates, please reach out to Drug Rehabilitation Solutions for helpful tools and recommendations.