Injecting drugs directly in the vein, or “shooting up,” is one of the most dangerous routes of administration. Many users prefer injection for the rapid onset of drug effects, however there is a strong chance of developing dangerous, sometimes lethal, infections from syringes or from contaminants in the drugs themselves. Infections are extremely dangerous and require immediate medical attention to reduce the potential for lethal health complications. Adulterants in drugs can result in major health consequences. Drugs like heroin are nearly always combined with other chemicals or agents in effort to prolong their effects or increase the amount of the drug. Black tar heroin, for example, often contains many additives and contaminants that can lead to collapsed veins, inflammation, organ damage, and bacterial infections. There is also a risk of developing infectious disease from unclean injection paraphernalia. HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and bacterial infections can all be transmitted via unsanitary injection equipment. Many users face collapsed veins as a result of chronic intravenous drug use and resort to intramuscular injection, putting them at greater risk for bacterial infections. According to the National Institute of Health, “Skin and soft tissue infections are the most common cause for hospital admission of injection drug users. Cutaneous and subcutaneous abscesses are the most frequent type of SSTI and occur most commonly when drug users are no longer able to inject intravenously and resort to injection directly into skin or muscle.” Some bacterial infections, such as endocarditis and necrotizing fasciitis, pose an extreme and potentially fatal risk to IV drug users. Endocarditis occurs when bacteria, fungi, or other germs enter the bloodstream and attach to the heart. As the bacteria multiplies, clumps can break off and travel to other organs in the body. When these bacterial clumps enter the brain, they can cause brain abscesses leading to stroke or seizure, or lead to meningitis. Necrotizing fasciitis, according to the CDC, is “is a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue. (Necrotizing means “causing the death of tissues.”) Unfortunately, necrotizing fasciitis can be deadly in a very short amount of time. Accurate diagnosis, prompt antibiotic treatment (medicine that kills bacteria in the body), and surgery are important to stopping this infection.” Necrotizing fasciitis, if not promptly treated, can cause one to lose the infected limb or die from the infection.
Dangerous health complications do not have to be a part of your story. You can find a happy and healthy life in sobriety by making the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers individualized treatment options to address your specific problems surrounding addiction. For more information about treatment programs, including Detox and Residential Treatment, please call today: (877) 279-1777