Sober living The Health Dangers of IV Drug Use

The Health Dangers of IV Drug Use

Although presentations with multiple problems are commonplace, the priority of the patient may be radically different from that of the healthcare professional at a specific time. A longer-term relationship may enable important health issues to be addressed when the patient is in a position to do so. If someone who is HIV positive shares a needle with someone who does not have HIV, that person can contract the disease. During a drug binge, you may not see your loved one or have any way to contact that person. He or she may stop answering the phone and may ignore anyone who knocks on the door. You may worry to the point of calling the police and asking them to perform a wellness check.

  • Family- Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves the effects of many genes.
  • Risks from drug injection are caused by a variety of factors, including unclean or unsafe injection practices such as blood flashing and repeated injections at the same site.
  • Social stigma – In many societies, there is a social stigma attached to IV drug use, in addition to the more general stigma around illegal drug use and addiction.
  • MRI will show a joint effusion with synovial thickening and enhancement, indicative of active synovitis (Fig. 15) .
  • An antitoxin is needed to stop the negative effects of the toxin in your body to treat wound botulism.
  • MRI demonstrates high signal intensity in the intervertebral disc space on T2 images with corresponding low signal on T1 (Fig. 13).

For example, repeatedly injecting drugs intravenously produces track marks. Track marks are lines of tiny, dark dots surrounded by an area of darkened or discolored skin. People who inject drugs may claim other reasons for the marks, such as frequent blood donations, bug bites, or other injuries. HIV is a chronic autoimmune disease that can occur from a contaminated needle. IV drug users, especially those who share needles, are at an increased risk of developing HIV. Initially, HIV causes symptoms similar to the flu, including body aches, chills and fever.

Viruses related to IV drug use

Intravenous drug use can introduce numerous toxins and pathogens into a person’s veins and body at large, which pave the way for infection. Staphyloccus aureus, or MRSA as it’s better known to most of us, is the bacteria most frequently responsible for IV drug infections. In some areas, needles and syringes are available for purchase from a pharmacy without a prescription.

During the summer months, many people look forward to wearing tank tops and shorts to beat the heat. Those with an IV drug addiction frequently do not wear the same clothing because they risk showing signs. They might wear long pants that reach down to their ankles and shirts with long sleeves that cover their arms even in the middle of a hot day. It’s important that you consider all the other possible signs of addiction to meth or other IV drugs. Those who use IV drugs will often wear clothing designed to hide infection sites. HIV and Injection Drug Use Learn about the risk of getting or transmitting HIV through injection drug use, find out how to reduce the risk, and get additional resources.

Harm reduction

In addition to providing sterile devices used in injection, these programs often offer access to infectious disease testing, referrals for substance use or mental health treatment programs, and more. The idea behind harm reduction approaches is to slow disease transmission, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C, and promote public health by reducing the practice of sharing used needles. Overall, our data provide insights into enacted and anticipated drug use stigma against PWID in New York City. The majority of participants opined that injection status was an explanation for being stigmatized while accessing care. PWID experiences in the healthcare system may have fostered anger, frustration, and distrust toward healthcare providers, and contributed to a reluctance to engage in medical care until a health problem had effectively peaked and became emergent.

Informed by grounded theory, constant comparison, and theoretical sampling methods , the data were processed and analyzed by three independent coders using Dedoose (Version 8.3.17). Relevant themes were compiled in a qualitative codebook as they became apparent in the data, and the codebook continued to change throughout the coding process as new themes emerged . Codes were reviewed through dialog about the data and codebook, and a final consensus was reached among the three coders. Pseudonyms were given to participants to protect their identities when presenting quotes in this manuscript .

Infections Related to IV Drug Use

By submitting this form you agree to terms of use and privacy policy of the website. Detoxification is the process in which the body clears itself of a drug. This should be completed in a treatment center with medical assistance. Peer pressure- Young people are more susceptible to peer pressure and it is a powerful factor in using and abusing drugs. The authors would like to thank Johnny Bresset, Rebecca Bolinski, Wiley Jenkins, David Frank, Sam Friedman, Mai Pho, and Brent Van Ham for their support and contributions to study enrollment and data collection. We would also like to thank all the participants of this study and our community partner .

Left untreated, sepsis can progress rapidly to the point of threatening your life. As soon as you seek treatment, medical staff will likely administer a broad-spectrum antibiotic. This medication can address various types of infection and the bacteria which cause them. Once tests determine the specific bacteria, a more focused antibiotic may be used.

Availability of data and materials

Behavioral therapy is commonly used in all settings and at all stages of substance use disorder treatment. Some of its goals are building motivation to change, teaching coping skills to avoid relapse, and improving relationships. Inpatient treatment consists of 24/7 care in a hospital or residential rehab.


Every year in the United States, about 20 people are diagnosed with wound botulism. In more severe cases of botulism, symptoms can worsen and even result in death if left untreated. An antitoxin is needed to stop the negative effects of the toxin in your body to treat wound botulism. In some cases, patients may experience a long recovery even if they receive the antitoxin promptly. 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.

Clostridial infections

iv drug use therapy, a form of drug injection, is universally practiced in modernized medical care. As of 2004, there were 13.2 million people worldwide who self-administered injection drugs outside of medical supervision, of which 22% are from developed countries. Endocarditis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the interior lining of the heart, can occur from repeated intravenous drug use. Most drug users inject substances into veins that drain into the right side of the heart, and as a result, the right-sided heart valves can develop endocarditis. Left untreated, endocarditis can damage or destroy heart valves and can lead to life-threatening complications. MRI is the imaging investigation of choice in osteomyelitis and other bone and joint infections.

  • Some of those complications, like HIV, can spread and create public health problems.
  • Familiarity with the manifestations of drug use is therefore critically important for both physicians and radiologists, particularly in the emergency department setting and in the case of unusual presentations in young adults.
  • It’s estimated that about 10% of HIV cases are caused by intravenous drug use.
  • Something as simple as wearing the same shirt or pants for several days in a row can cause an infection.
  • The difficulties apply, not so much to the treatment of acute pain — where advice to divide the daily dose of methadone or buprenorphine and add other analgesic medications including opiates may be appropriate — but to the management of long-term pain.
  • The clinical presentation of patients with complications arising from injected drug use may vary and be non-specific, making timely recognition of imaging manifestations important.
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