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Consequences of Injecting Drugs

Person gets wheeled into the emergency room after overdosing, one of the many consequences of injecting drugs

The dangers of injecting drugs cannot be understated. In addition to the potential for addiction, there are a wide range of physical and psychological side effects that can occur with drug use. Injection is usually the fastest way to get the effects of a drug into the bloodstream. This is why millions of people inject drugs worldwide.

If you would like to learn more about the risks of injecting drugs, contact Vertava Health at 844.470.0410 today. Our drug and alcohol detox center can provide education about the potential harms that accompany any form of substance misuse.

Why People Inject Drugs

Injecting drugs is the act of putting a drug, in liquid form, right into the bloodstream to achieve the effects of the drug. This is done using a hypodermic needle and syringe or another injection source. The most common street drug used for injection, or “shooting up,” is heroin. There are a variety of different drugs that can be injected to the bloodstream:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Ketamine
  • PCP
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Ecstasy
  • Suboxone
  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamines
  • MDMA
  • Cocaine and heroin mixture (speedball)

By the time someone begins injecting drugs, they likely are in need of professional help. This is because drug injection puts them at a heightened risk of developing physical and mental health issues.

Physical Dangers of Injecting Drugs

Injection drug use carries with it physical dangers that can lead to serious health complications and even death.

These physical dangers include:

  • Blood-borne illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and bacterial infections
  • Increased risk of overdose and death
  • A higher risk for vein damage and collapsed veins
  • Risk of abscesses or skin infections at the injection site

The psychological dangers of injecting drugs include the following:

  • Loss of control over the amount and frequency of drug use
  • Increased risk for addiction
  • Paranoia, depression, and other mental health issues
  • Heightened anxiety and risk of panic attacks
  • Decreased cognitive functioning, including memory problems and difficulty concentrating

A person who injects a drug is vulnerable to various other health consequences. Blood infections and bacterial infections can occur in the user from using dirty needles or repeated drug injections. Sometimes when an injectable drug is used, it can block off the blood from the arm or leg, and amputation is necessary.

These risks are only some of the consequences that accompany drug injection. If you or someone you know is abusing drugs and injecting them, it’s important to seek professional help in order to reduce these risks and learn healthier ways of living.

How To Tell If A Person Is Injecting Drugs

There are certain signs that can indicate a person is using and injecting drugs. This includes the following:

  • Needle marks around the arms, legs, hands
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia, such as syringes and cotton swabs
  • Physical changes due to drug use, such as weight loss and changes in skin color
  • Unusual behaviors, such as isolation or a lack of focus
  • A sudden change in a financial situation
  • Suspicious scabs on the body
  • A strong smell of drugs on their breath and clothes

If you have noticed any of the above signs in a friend or loved one, it may be time to intervene and get them help. At Vertava Health, we offer a wide range of treatment programs designed to help individuals overcome the dangers of injection drug use.

Heal From Addiction at Vertava Health

If you or a loved one have been injecting drugs, it’s time to seek professional treatment to heal. Vertava Health is a comprehensive addiction treatment center that provides evidence-based therapies for individuals struggling with substance misuse. Our continuum of care includes detox, residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient care.

We understand the dangers of drug injection and work with individuals to find the best treatment approach for their unique recovery needs. Contact the kind professionals at Vertava Health today at 844.470.0410 to learn more about the healing journey that awaits.