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IV drug use: Complications and abuse signs

IV drug use: Complications and abuse signs

Drug usage is a critical public health concern. The efforts to prevent and treat addiction are crucial to limit the consequences related to the IV drug use. Keep reading this article to learn more about this topic and how to get help.

What is IV drug use?

Let’s begin with the basics: what is intravenous drug use? Intravenous drug use (or IV drug use) means injecting narcotics straight into a vein via a needle or syringe. This type of drug submission helps the substance reach circulation quickly and provides a powerful reaction.

Intravenous drug usage is linked to illegal narcotics like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, but it can also include prescribed pharmaceuticals like opioids.

IV drug use entails complications and dangers such as infection, abscesses, blood clots, ruptured veins, and overdose that could lead to death. It can also spread bloodborne infections like HIV and hepatitis B/C, especially if needles are shared among IV drug users.

Typically, intervention, subsequent detoxication, and the aid of professional facilities that deal with addictions will treat patients who suffer from IV drug use.

IV drug use: Complications and abuse signs
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Related illnesses and health issues

IV drug use leads to various complications and health issues in PWID. Some of them appear immediately; others occur after some time. The most common IV drug users complications include the following:

  • Vein damage. Repeated injections into the same vein often cause injuries and lifetime scarring. Typically, such damage makes finding a viable vein for future injections difficult.
  • Infections. IV drug use often leads to infections of the bloodstream, skin, or even heart valves. These bacterial or viral infections may lead to death or incurable lifetime illnesses.
  • Social problems. Some may perceive this as a minor complication, but people often damage their social lives, which leads to isolation and further drug abuse. Drug addicts lose their jobs, families, homes, friends, etc. That’s why IV drug use is referred to as a social issue.
  • Mental health problems. Drug use can lead to mental health issues such as psychosis, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • Bloodborne diseases. Sharing needles or other injection tools transmits bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis B or C, HIV, etc. This is one of the deadliest complications, as lack of treatment may eventually lead to death.
  • Overdose. IV drug use increases the risk of an overdose over time. People start with smaller doses of narcotics, but eventually, they become insensitive and require more drugs to get the same satisfaction level. Thus, an overdose leads to death if the person doesn’t get medical help on time.

It’s critical to seek medical assistance if you or someone you know is struggling with IV drug use. There are tons of effective treatments starting from intervention to detox and rehabilitation.

Treatment options can help reduce the harm associated with drug use and improve overall health and well-being. However, it’s critical to spot signs of intravenous drug use.

IV drug use: Complications and abuse signs

Signs of intravenous drug usage

Consider learning about the most common signs if you have a friend you are worried about. Common signs of IV drug use include the following:

  • Social isolation, withdrawal from friends, family, etc. The person may also miss work or even quit. It’s one of the very first signs that you can easily spot.
  • Behavioral changes. These include mood swings, anger, and anxiety. Appearance changes too.
  • Financial difficulties. The person may quit or lose the job, yet the addiction dictates more drug usage. The person may engage in theft or borrow money from friends.
  • Marks and bruises. The most apparent signs of IV drug abuse are needle marks or bruises on the arms, hands, or feet. Remember: when an addict has marks on their feet, they can’t find undamaged veins to inject because of frequent narcotics usage.
  • Wearing clothing with long sleeves or pants to cover up marks and scars.
  • Usage of needles or other injection equipment, such as cotton balls, syringes, etc.
  • Dilated pupils or bloodshot eyes.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using IV drugs. The list includes excess sweating, shaking, nausea, anxiety, or paranoid behavior.
  • Physical symptoms include infections, abscesses, dental problems, and weight loss.

If you notice one or several symptoms mentioned, don’t be hesitant and ask for professional guidance.

IV drug use: Complications and abuse signs
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Getting help in Eco Sober House

Drug use of any kind has the potential to be dangerous, but IV drug use carries even more risks. Eco Sober House offers professional help to drug addicts. If you or someone close to you shows signs of drug abuse, do not hesitate and contact this facility to get immediate help. Eco Sober House provides mental support to patients who went through detox and now require extra help to overcome the addiction and gain control of their lives.



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