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Dangers of shooting heroin

Dangers of shooting heroin

08-03 | CDAH Team

Heroin is known to cause devastating health issues at an exponential rate when smoked or snorted. Moreover, the heavily abused and extremely potent drug can cause an array of severe complications and can even kill a person when injected into the bloodstream. The findings of several studies also suggest that the chronic users of heroin usually suffer from enormous brain injuries that cause weakness, spastic attacks and permanent hand tremor.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 669,000 people in the United States were reportedly using heroin in 2011. The increase was more pronounced among youngsters in the age group 18 to 25.

Though there are different ways to take heroin, users who prefer using needles and syringes are often at a high risk of contracting deadly infections and diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), other blood-borne infections, etc.

In addition, one is likely to witness a number of bruises and scars due to the consistent use of needles. Some of the well-known musicians like Jim Morrison, River Phoenix and Janis Joplin have succumbed at quiet a young age to “shooting heroin.”

Although both smoking and snorting can lead to a host of lethal consequences, shooting heroin inflicts comparatively a far more gruesome range of health issues like permanent vein damage, increase of blood clots, abscesses near injection site, collapse of veins, infectious diseases like those mentioned above, etc.

Medical complications associated with intravenous and intramuscular use of heroin

In particular, users who are disposed toward the IV process of abusing heroin is known to experience an intense rush of euphoria and ecstasy as it has the potential to enter the bloodstream directly and travel rapidly to the brain. The toxicity level of heroin spikes due to the fact when used intravenously one tends to witness the rush within 10 minutes.

Moreover, the IV use of heroin affects certain types of cells and parts that can be far more threatening for a user. On the contrary, those who resort to intramuscular or snorting are far more likely to reach the peak “high” effects in minimum 30 minutes.

Since the chemical makeup of heroin similar to endorphins or “feel good chemicals,” the regular shooting of heroin can become fatal enough to damage one’s body, brain and the central nervous system (CNS). This impairs a user’s cognitive-behavioral functions, such as motor functions, memory, impulse control, etc.The IV heroin use induces a warm flush through the skin as the arms and legs become heavy. Shortly thereafter, the “nod” period sets in wherein a person becomes semiconscious for several hours.

During the “nod” state, one can witness respiratory failure due to the slowness of his or her breathing process. Some people may also experience severe itching, nausea, dry mouth and vomiting shortly after injecting heroin. The long-time users can develop a range of problems as mentioned below:

  • Liver damages: Medical-based studies have described regular IV use of heroin as a major cause responsible for over two-thirds of all liver infections caused by hepatitis C in the United States and is also illustrated as the chief reason for the transmission of this disease.
  • Kidney failure: The chemicals released by heroin are dangerous to the kidneys. Heroin abuse is connected with the high levels of protein discharge in the urine that can cause kidney failure. In such cases, recovery may require dialysis or may entail a kidney transplant.
  • Skin infections: The regular injection of heroin is known to cause abscesses. These are skin boils that appear next to the veins or injection areas are filled with toxic pus that may burst up and leak into the bloodstream. These abscesses are very painful, untreatable and can even lead to death.
  • Lung-related problems: The IV use of heroin increases the risk of developing pneumonia, become more of an issue the longer a person uses. Over time, the liver becomes incapable of functioning properly that can cause a liver disease.

Combat the problem of heroin addiction

Evidently, a user by shooting heroin is likely to deliver at a rapid rate a large amount of this drug into his or her bloodstream. This increases the chances of witnessing an overdose that can multiply repercussions in the case of users ill prepared for such an incident. Considering all the problems, it is essential to seek an appropriate treatment program to avoid the above-mentioned repercussions.

If you know someone who is struggling with any kind of substance abuse, contact the Colorado Drug Addiction Helpline to know about the top drug addiction treatment centers in Colorado. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-218-7546 or chat online to know about the best drug rehab centers in Colorado.


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