Intravenous Drug Use: Risks, Signs & Treatment Options

iv drug use

It’s a form of staph infection that can enter the body through vulnerable areas, such as an injection site. Septic arthritis is a joint infection that typically occurs when an infection travels through the bloodstream to a joint. In addition to the bloodstream, septic arthritis can develop from a penetrating injury that causes germs to enter the joint from a puncture how long does it take to detox from alcohol timeline and more directly. For those who misuse IV drugs, Staphylococcus aureus is the most common infectious agent that results in septic arthritis. On average, people who inject drugs are over 34 times more likely to develop venous or leg ulcers than those who have never injected before. If left untreated, a skin ulcer will worsen and can begin to pucker or crater.

While you can take some infusion medications yourself at home, you’ll likely receive your therapy from a healthcare professional. Learn about the risk of getting or transmitting HIV through injection drug use, find out how to reduce the risk, and get additional resources. Some patients readily admit to injection drug use, but for others, a thorough physical examination is needed to detect evidence of injection. Because crack comes in a solid form (rock), it is necessary to dissolve it first.

  1. One of the most common signs of IV drug misuse is a large amount of weight loss in a few months.
  2. As  important  as  preparing  your  drugs  as  cleanly as possible is injecting them as safely and as carefully as possible.
  3. One of the most common symptoms of vein collapse is cold hands or feet due to reduced circulation.
  4. The upper and lower arms and legs are probably the best locations for skin-popping.
  5. This form of administration is commonly utilized for administering rehydration or other oral solutions.

This process is not only rapid but also means the drug is delivered to the brain all at once in a more concentrated amount. Oral drug use requires waiting for the substance to be digested and absorbed in the intestines before the effects can be felt in the brain. This makes them take significantly longer to produce the desired impact. While this typically results in a longer high, it is also less intense and delayed for some people. Since illicit drugs are usually not created in sterile conditions, this creates the opportunity for pathogens to enter the bloodstream even if injection techniques are perfect. Intravenous therapy, or IV therapy, is a common form of intravenous medication administration.

Public Health Problems Related to IV Drug Use

Both conditions require prompt medical treatment and can become life-threatening if not adequately treated. Outpatient programs can provide benefits in some instances, but inpatient treatment centers are usually needed for addressing IV drug rehabilitation. These can consist of 30-day inpatient treatment programs or a longer-term rehab program that can last several months. aetna insurance coverage for drug rehab A PICC has a long line that sends medication from the area of insertion, through your veins, all the way to a vein near your heart. A PICC is typically placed in a vein above your elbow in your upper arm. Long-term medication treatment, such as chemotherapy or total parenteral nutrition, usually requires a central venous catheter (CVC) instead of a standard IV catheter.

In addition, muscle-poppers are at high risk for abscess formation, especially if what they inject has any particles in it whatsoever. When muscle-popping, it is extremely important to inject only a solution that is as particle-free as possible. Those who inject IV drugs are at a higher risk of developing wound botulism, which can be life-threatening. While wound botulism is a less common illness, it is very serious and can develop when a germ known as Clostridium botulinum enters a wound or injection site and creates a toxin. When the body’s nerves are targeted, it can cause difficulty breathing and general muscle weakness.

Certain drugs may be given by IV administration because if you took them orally (by mouth), enzymes in your stomach or liver would break them down. This would prevent the drugs from working well when they’re finally sent to your bloodstream. Therefore, these drugs would be much more effective if sent directly into your bloodstream by IV administration. IV administration can also be a controlled way to give drugs over time. The hepatitis virus can cause hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, the most serious of the hepatitis viruses.

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An experienced injector can walk you through the process of injecting, or perhaps even demonstrate it, and prevent you from making any dangerous mistakes. If possible, find someone who you trust to mentor you through this process. And talk with other injectors about the various tips and wisdom about injecting they’ve picked up over the years. Immediately after administering IV drugs, there will be physical signs on the skin. Needle marks, scabs, or bruising may be visible soon after, especially if the same areas are repeatedly targeted.

iv drug use

Misusing any drug can cause serious health complications and result in long-term consequences. Injecting a drug is one of the most dangerous forms of drug misuse, as it bypasses your skin’s natural defense systems. IV drug use often causes more intense highs, making it difficult for someone to gauge how much of a drug they have taken. An infected blood clot causes septic thrombophlebitis in the vein, which can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening. Common symptoms from septic thrombophlebitis include tenderness and inflammation of the skin overlying the vein.

Many of the substances that require intramuscular injection come pre-prepared in liquid form. Muscling speed or cocaine is very painful and dangerous, and is likely to cause an abscess. Some people like to ‘boot’ their syringe after they’ve injected their drugs—that is, pull back the plunger, draw blood into the syringe, and re-inject it. Some injectors like to do this several times, ostensibly to rinse out any drug solution that remains in the syringe. Because of all the blood involved, you might want to refrain from booting if you know you’re going to be cleaning your needle and syringe and allowing someone else to use it. Be sure to thoroughly flush your needle and syringe with water after booting if you plan to re-use it at a later time, so that blood doesn’t clog the needle.

Intravenous Medication Administration: What to Know

The use of contaminated injection drug equipment is a primary transmission route for both HIV and hepatitis C. Increasing injection drug use has placed new populations, including young people, at risk. While there are many bacteria and even fungi that can cause cellulitis, most cases result from group A Streptococcal bacteria. Cellulitis is one of the most common infections that affect people who use IV drugs.

Untreated endocarditis is a dangerous condition and results in death without proper medical attention. Abscesses are a common complication of intravenous drug use, resulting in an uncomfortable collection of pus under the skin. substance dependence can increase the risk of developing an abscess significantly, as well as skin infections and inflammation. For those with an abscess, the skin often feels warm, sensitive and painful to the touch. Understanding the risk factors for skin and soft-tissue abscesses can help prevent the development of drug-related abscesses.

IV therapy delivers liquids directly into a patient’s vein and is usually done only in medically supervised settings. Intravenous (IV) drug use and substance use typically refers to illicit drug use via injections. Clots can block important veins and cause health concerns such as tissue damage or even death. Deep vein thrombosis is one type of dangerous blood clot that IV treatment can cause. If air gets into the syringe or the IV medication bag and the line runs dry, air bubbles can enter your vein.

With IV administration, a thin plastic tube called an IV catheter is inserted into your vein. The catheter allows your healthcare professional to give you multiple safe doses of medication without needing to poke you with a needle each time. Gateway Foundation takes a holistic approach to substance misuse and drug dependencies. We provide innovative treatments, including withdrawal management, trauma therapy programs and relapse prevention.

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