Each time they inject a drug, they increase their risk of contracting infections and developing sepsis, whether they use these drugs occasionally or they are addicted to them. Medical consequences of chronic injection use include scarred and/or collapsed veins, infections of the blood vessels and heart valves, abscesses, and other soft-tissue infections. Endocarditis is an infection of the heart valves  that is caused by bacteria, fungi, and other infection-causing microbes that enter the bloodstream during injection and build up around the valves of the heart, weakening them as well as other parts of the heart muscle. Endocarditis can eventually cause a heart murmur, as well as fever, chest pains, fainting spells, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations as well as congestive heart failure. It can be treated with antibiotics or antifungal agents if detected early, but requires several weeks, or months, of IV antibiotics and/or heart valve replacement surgery if not detected early.

Tuberculous monoarthritis of the knee joint – CMAJ

Tuberculous monoarthritis of the knee joint.

Posted: Mon, 05 Jun 2023 04:17:54 GMT [source]

Either one or both of the programs together may have caused behavioral change or at least sensitized IV drug users to the need for such change (Moss and Chaisson, 1988). One consistent finding with significant implications for treatment and prevention efforts is that of multiple drug use among those who inject drugs. Studies of treatment populations (B. D. Johnson et al., 1985; Ball et al., 1986) suggest that a majority (60-90 percent) of IV heroin users report regular use of at least one other nonopiate. Heroin was the dominant injected drug a few years ago, but today, IV drug users may also inject cocaine, heroin and cocaine in combination, or a variety of other drugs, including amphetamines (Black et al., 1986). As such, SBI risk is the result of a multi-level interplay between individuals and their social and physical environments in producing risk for negative health outcomes.

Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment

The evolving opioid epidemic coupled with limited knowledge of potential risk factors and increasing incidence of SBI in PWID, provides a significant opportunity for intervention that may reduce morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable population. Harm reduction strategies targeting SBI will need to be comprehensive given multiple potential means of introducing bacteria into the process and fluid nature of the risk (during and between separate injection events). The typical medical professional offers minimal information (i.e., clean needle use, avoid needle sharing) for safe injection in the context of complex and varied behaviors. PWID interviewed in this study demonstrate what is likely widespread basic understanding of safe injection practices. In addition, PWID interviewed noted information about “safe” practices often travels via word of mouth rather than from medical professionals.

is alcoholism a mental illness

The most important aspect of recovering from https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/iv-drug-use-and-potential-complications/ is understanding the severity of your addiction or that of a loved one. Intravenous drug users are also at increased risk of disease due to often having other risk factors for disease, including long term tobacco use, chronic alcohol excess, malnutrition, poor living conditions, etc. e.g. pneumonia 2. If you do seek medical care to have your abscess drained, try to find a wound clinic where you can get your dressing changed on a regular basis and make sure the abscess is healing properly.


If you need to go back and make any changes, you can always do so by going to our Privacy Policy page. National Harm Reduction Coalition creates spaces for dialogue and action that help heal the harms caused by racialized drug policies. This report was prepared by the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research under contract from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Contributors include Matthew Webster (Principal Investigator), David Clark (Study Director), Thomas Garrity (Co-Investigator), Carl Leukefeld (Co-Investigator), and Jennifer McGivern (Research Assistant). Programs that distribute injectable naloxone to individuals for use in suspected overdose situations have been implemented in many larger US cities.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency began a systematic review of heroin and cocaine prices and degrees of purity in 1971. As is the case with most mathematical models, models of heroin consumption could benefit from further elaboration and the use of other mechanisms to improve their predictive powers. For example, existing models could be tested with new data or new assumptions concerning the dynamics of drug use. Also necessary to continued model development and improvement are the enhanced coordination of data collection for indicator data, surveys of key populations, and systematic ethnographic studies. That literature in turn focuses far more on the maintenance of usage patterns than on turnover, an important factor in gauging both the prevalence of IV drug use at specific points in time and the likelihood of exposure to HIV. Indirect estimates are based on regression models that attempt to relate indicator data (e.g., the number of burglaries or heroin-related deaths) to the prevalence of IV drug use.

Types of Infection

Early imaging findings are similar to those in cellulitis but are more extensive and involve deeper structures. Although it is not seen in all cases, a distinguishing sign is the presence of gas within the subcutaneous tissues. This may be seen on plain X-rays as lucency within the soft tissues, or on ultrasound as hyperechoic foci with intense posterior shadowing (Fig. 5). The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences employed in suspected soft tissue infection will typically include T2, a fluid-sensitive sequence such as short-tau inversion recovery (STIR) and unenhanced and post-contrast T1. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) may be added in certain cases, such as to assess for abscess formation.

Qualitative analysis led to the proposal of an Ecosocial understanding of SBI risk, detailing the multi-level interplay between individuals and their social and physical environments in producing risk for negative health outcomes. The problem of HIV infection among IV drug users and its transmission to their sexual partners and offspring requires both immediate action and long-term research. Immediate action is necessary because of the potential for the rapid spread of HIV among IV drug users within short periods.

However, as a narcotic agonist–antagonist, pentazocine and its relatives can cause withdrawal in those physically dependent upon narcotics. Misusing any drug can cause serious health complications and result in long-term consequences. Injecting a drug is one of the most dangerous forms of drug misuse, as it bypasses your skin’s natural defense systems. IV drug use often causes more intense highs, making it difficult for someone to gauge how much of a drug they have taken.

iv drug use

Continued use over time involves both an acquired sense of pleasure and a differential tolerance for heroin’s various effects. Posters, Digital Tools and Social Media
Download these posters, which you can localize, and digital images to share via social media and other digital or online platforms to encourage people who use and inject drugs to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Please visit the Opioid Dashboard for more information on opioid overdose death, nonfatal overdose, use, misuse, substance use disorder, prescribing practices, supply, diversion, harm reduction, co-occurring conditions, and social determinants of health. Gateway Foundation takes a holistic approach to substance misuse and drug dependencies.

Treatment of Injection Drug Use

Self-Help Groups and Other Counseling – Over three-quarters of adult Kentuckians who have used intravenous drugs in their lifetime have attended a self-help group, and an estimated 59.9% have attended some other type of counseling treatment (Figure 8). In comparison, less than 2% of adult Kentuckians who have never used illicit drugs have attended a self-help group or another form of counseling treatment. Age at First Illicit Drug Use – The majority of adult Kentuckians, both who report using intravenous drugs and those who have never used intravenous drugs, indicate that they first began using illicit drugs between ages 12 and 18 (Figure 7).

For this reason, physical therapists have the opportunity to build trust in the therapist-patient relationship.

Substance Use Treatment

It is designed for those who wish to assess, within a city or region, the current situation regarding drug injecting, and who wish to use this information to develop interventions to reduce the adverse health consequences of injecting. Plain radiographs are the initial imaging test and can show a joint effusion and soft tissue swelling initially while peri-articular osteopenia due to local hyperaemia, joint space loss or osseous erosions may develop later (Fig. 14) [24, 25]. Radiographs cannot reliably detect effusions in many joints, however, including the hips and shoulders.