The Dangers of Shooting Up Heroin
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Shooting up heroin is one of the most dangerous ways to abuse the drug. If the drug is so dangerous, why do people shoot heroin? The answers are complicated and very well may surprise you. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we have extensive knowledge about heroin abuse. We also have vast experience helping people fighting heroin addiction get clean.
Heroin is a drug belonging to the opioid family. It has proven to be one of the most popular opioids. Despite it being an illegal drug, there are a few variations of heroin. Both white powder heroin and black tar heroin are abused in the United States. One of the dangers with white powder heroin is that is it often cut with other substances.
This could include laundry detergent, sugar, caffeine, talcum powder, and rat poison. Some of these substances may be safer than others. However, most are not safe to be snorted or injected directly into the bloodstream. The other concern is that some substances may not completely dissolve. They can build up and block arteries.
This can result in heart infections, blockages in the heart and brain, and damage to the liver. Most struggling with addiction have complete knowledge of all these health risks. So why then do they learn how to shoot up heroin? When heroin is injected versus snorted or smoked, it rapidly goes to the brain.
The effects of heroin can be felt almost immediately. People fighting addiction feel a sense of euphoria and emotional numbness. These sensations are incredibly addictive. They are also far more intense than what can be felt with most prescription opiates.
Those struggling with addiction can become dependent on these euphoric sensations. This can drive them to find any possible means of getting heroin into their system.
How is Shooting Heroin Worse for Your Health?
There are no safe or healthy means of using heroin. There is no safe answer to shooting up heroin. This is a dangerous opiate that can lead to serious physical addiction and dependency. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we are familiar with the complications that physical addiction can bring.
Injecting substances like heroin can expose addicts to serious health complications. The first potential complication involves the needles themselves. If the needle is inserted too shallow, the drug may pool beneath the skin. This can result in serious skin infections, including life-threatening abscesses.
On the other end of the spectrum, a needle inserted too deeply can pierce the vein. This can result in pooled heroin far beneath the surface of the skin. Infections can become a frightening reality. Needles are often reused by heroin addicts. The concern with reuse is that the tip of the needle can dull. This dulling can result in skin tears. Infections and sepsis can easily occur.
Another serious concern is that heroin is quite often an acidic drug. The acidity can vary greatly between batches. This volatility can result in a number of serious health complications. This could include inflammation at the injection site and bruising.
Veins may also collapse with prolonged abuse. These signs of heroin abuse are what result in so-called track marks. These scars are the skin that are common signs that an individual is abusing drugs intravenously.
With prolonged abuse, it can prove more difficult to find veins. This can result in the person seeking out alternative injection sites. Some may even resort to simply injecting the drug directly into muscle tissue. Skin infections and abscesses can quickly become serious concerns. In extreme cases, addicts may see full limb amputation being necessary.
Prolonged Heroin Abuse Concerns
There are serious concerns facing the long-term heroin user. These concerns extend past emotional damage and family impact. Many heroin addicts share needles with other addicts. This is done despite warnings from health officials.
The most serious concern relates to the risk addicts are at for blood-transmitted diseases. Hepatitis is common amongst intravenous drug abusers. HIV is, of course, another life-threatening concern to be aware of.
This can be troublesome in situations where users are not afforded access to medical care. Diseases can accelerate rapidly. The health of the user can deteriorate just as rapidly. Death is a very real threat in drug- and needle-sharing communities.
The Risks of Heroin Overdose
All people abusing heroin are at risk of overdoses. Intravenous use is linked to drastically increased odds of overdose. With the injection of heroin, the body’s natural filters are bypassed.
The kidneys, liver, and even the digestive tract metabolize and dilute the substances that are put into our bodies. Injecting heroin bypasses these systems. Instead, the drug is free to flow through the body via the bloodstream. A user may miscalculate the amount of heroin they are shooting or add another drug into the mix, thus further increasing the risk of overdose.
There are some signs of an overdose to be aware of:
- Shallow or no breathing
- Gurgling sounds
- Lack of response to any stimuli
- Loss of consciousness
- Blue fingernails or lips
Emergency medical assistance should be sought out immediately if any of these signs are spotted. With rapid medical intervention, most heroin overdose victims can be saved.
Identifying the Signs of a Heroin Addiction
A truth about those struggling with addiction is that they tend to be very effective at disguising their drug abuse. There are, however, some signs that you could keep an eye out for.
- Evasive or secretive behavior that is out of character
- A sudden need to borrow money
- Periods of unexplained drowsiness
- Track marks on the arms or feet
- Unexplained weight loss
- Seeing signs of heroin paraphernalia. This could include syringes, burned spoons, and lighters
Getting help for heroin addiction is the best course of action. Many users are in denial about their addiction. It is not until they are made to confront their addiction that recovery can be possible. Getting into the right treatment program is a vital part of recovery. Treatment can guide them towards recovery through comfortable pain-free detox and medical supervision.
Call Today for More Information on The Dangers of Shooting Up Heroin
Are you or someone you love struggling with an addiction to heroin? Reach out to Resurgence Behavioral Health today. Our trained and experienced recovery professionals can help you to break through to the other side of heroin addiction. We offer programs tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
Free Insurance Verification for Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction is complex. The comprehensive treatments we offer will address each aspect of your addiction. Your focus will be on your health, mental health, and sobriety.
Our Resurgence Behavioral Health team of professionals can also verify your insurance coverage. As well as research additional resources available to you.