The Dangers of IV Drug Abuse and Where to Seek Help

The Dangers of IV Drug Abuse and Where to Seek Help

It is no secret that drugs can take a detrimental toll on a person’s well-being. However, some drugs are worse for you than others. Injected drugs are generally liquids that are put into the body with a needle and syringe. The drug is generally injected into a vein, the muscle, or just under the skin.

According the World Health Organization, as many as 16 million people inject drugs around the world. Some examples of drugs that are injected include heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, and prescription medications. If you are concerned that a family member or friend is experimenting with or addicted to IV drugs, read more below to learn more about some of the signs and symptoms and ways you can help.

If injected intravenously (IV), drugs are sent directly to the bloodstream and will quickly reach the blood-brain barrier. This causes immediate results, allowing for drug users to feel the drug’s effects instantly. For example, an IV drug may take on average 15-30 seconds to take effect, while it might take 3-5 minutes if snorted, and even longer if taken orally in pill form.

Because of its instantaneous effect, IV drug users are more likely to overdose because they take in more than their bodies can handle at once. When the body overdoses, the amount of drugs taken in has reached toxic levels, which ultimately overwhelms the body and brain. Depending on the drug being injected, some side effects of IV drug abuse include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Difference in pupil size or reactivity
  • Tremors or convulsions
  • Trouble breathing
  • Higher risk for developing infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis C and HIV)
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Changes in body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Unsteadiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Violence or hostility
  • Paranoia
  • Death

Additional signs that someone might be abusing drugs intravenously (IV) include: finding syringes or other paraphernalia (such as spoons, straws and/or lighters); unusual red marks on the skin (“track marks”), or signs of skin infection. If you know someone who may be abusing drugs intravenously (IV), it is very important to find them the help that they need as soon as you can before it’s too late. IV drug use can be deadly. Contact a local drug abuse treatment center that has experience dealing with patients who use drugs intravenously.

A licensed health professional can provide you with the insight and guidance needed to help your intervention succeed. To get help for you or a loved one, contact Crossroads of Naples today. For more information about the drug addiction programs available at Crossroads, call 239-354-1428 or click here to learn more now.

Apr 25, 2016 | Blog

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