There are some men and women who drink and use drugs who swear that if they ever get to the point of injecting themselves to get high, they’ll quit. But the truth is addiction can get worse and worse over time that a person might find themselves injecting a needle into their arm (or another part of their body) to avoid serious withdrawal symptoms. If you’re someone who is getting high on an illicit drug through injection, there are some important health concerns to consider.
Drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine can be smoked or snorted instead of injected into the body. However, at some point, someone might experience the negative effects of smoking or snorting, such as chronic sore throat or red nostrils. When the effects of snorting or smoking get serious, someone might choose to inject the drug into their system. But once you inject a needle into yourself, you are vulnerable to a number of risks. Here are some of the dangers that come with using drugs by injection:
- –easily contract diseases
- –spread and transmit diseases to others
- –develop an ulcer
- –develop an abscess
- –develop an infection at the injection site
- –scarring the veins
- –collapsed veins
Because intravenous drug use is so dangerous – not only for the user but also for anyone else he or she shares needles with – many communities give out free needles in order to prevent harm. And it’s not just sharing needles, but unsanitary conditions, blunt needles, and dirty water can contribute to whether a person contracts a disease or develops an infection.
Another danger to using drugs via injection is the tolerance and dependence that develops. Tolerance is when a person needs more of the drug in order to experience the same high. And dependency is developing a physical and/or psychological reliance upon the substance. Research shows that when a person injects a drug into their body he or she will develop tolerance and dependency more quickly than other methods of taking the drug. Despite this, some drug users prefer to inject the drug into their body because it brings an immediate high. Through injection, a person doesn’t have to wait for the body to metabolize the substance before feeling the high. However, the intense high is often shorter than ingesting the drug through other methods.
In fact, some people become so accustomed to using a needle when getting high that they develop an association with intravenous drug use. Just seeing the needle can invoke excitement. Just by administering the drug through the use of needles, a person might immediately feel a sense of euphoria. Someone in recovery from an addiction to intravenous drug use might be triggered by the mere sight of needles.
If you or someone you know is using drugs through injection, he or she is at serious risk for developing an addiction as well as many health concerns. First and foremost, call a mental health professional for help. You could save a person’s life!
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