Most drug addictions begin through less direct methods of administration like smoking or ingesting the substance. But as dependence increases and addicts seek stronger, faster highs, they often consider or begin abusing drugs such as heroin or cocaine through intravenous injection IV drug use. Most addicts opt for IV drug use for more powerful and immediate effects; few consider or even realize that injecting substances can cause permanent damage and negative health consequences, making it a highly dangerous practice. Among the numerous possible health repercussions of using a syringe to inject substances are infections, overdose, and cardiovascular disease. Skin infections are extremely common in intravenous drug abusers, with 11 percent of intravenous drug users reporting at least one abscess within the past six months. One study estimated that up to 89 percent of injectable substances sold on the street are contaminated with at least one pathogen, often bacteria and fungi, with 61 percent of heroin samples containing , organisms per gram. Contaminants in substances, combined with generally non-sterile equipment and poor hygiene, increase the risk of a possible abscess or skin infection significantly. Sterilizing needles and cleaning the skin before injection can help reduce the possibility of an abscess forming, but these practices cannot prevent the effects of contaminants in the drugs themselves.
Please click here to learn about our coronavirus response and prioritizing your health. Track marks are injection marks on arms and the scars which remain after a person shoots up a drug. These are the tell-tale signs of chronic intravenous drug use. Track marks can look like small holes in the skin, in various stages of healing. New puncture wounds may look bright red or pink. The skin may be covered by a scab or new scar tissue. Older track marks can look like white or light pink healed scars. Track marks can appear as puncture wounds or as discolored and scarred veins.
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More than 10 million lives covered by insurance. Call us today to get the care you deserve. Injection drug abuse is one of the most dangerous ways of administering a drug. Intravenous injection delivers the drug rapidly into your system, creating what is nearly an immediate and very intense high. Injection drug use means simply that the drug is administered through a needle or syringe. Some users choose to inject the drug into their muscles or just below their skin, whereas others shoot it directly into their bloodstream. The latter method is referred to as intravenous or IV drug use.
When a medication is injected directly into muscle, it is called an intramuscular injection IM. The Z-track method is a type of IM injection technique used to prevent tracking leakage of the medication into the subcutaneous tissue underneath the skin. During the procedure, skin and tissue are pulled and held firmly while a long needle is inserted into the muscle. After the medication is injected, the skin and tissue are released. When you insert a needle into the tissues, it leaves a very small hole, or track. Small amounts of medication can sometimes leak backwards through this track and be absorbed into other tissues. This zigzag track line is what prevents medication from leaking from the muscle into surrounding tissue. The procedure is usually administered by a nurse or doctor. In some cases, you may be instructed how to perform Z-track injections on yourself at home.