Substance abuse was never something you wanted for your loved one. In fact, abusing heroin wasn’t something that they wanted for themselves. But after all the stress and hardships they have faced, heroin use became a way for them to cope. It was an escape, and before they knew it, that escape transformed into an addiction.
You were concerned about your loved one’s drug use, but when you learned they were injecting heroin, it sent a shiver down your spine. You know that injecting heroin is dangerous, but what are the risks and how is injecting heroin affecting your loved one’s health?
When your loved one is abusing and injecting heroin, you can’t help but worry about all the dangers involved. In this post, we’re going to explain the effects injecting heroin has on the body. That way, you’ll have more information to help your loved one get the help they need to overcome their addiction.
Why Do People Choose to Inject Heroin?
There are three ways people ingest heroin. The first two are snorting and smoking the drug in its purified state of a white or brown powder. These options are seen as less stigmatizing than the third option, which is injecting impure heroin that’s dissolved and diluted directly into muscles and veins.
The main reason why people choose to inject heroin is because it makes the effects of the drug happen almost immediately. When heroin is injected, the substance directly enters the bloodstream and travels straight to the brain.
Why is Injecting Heroin Dangerous for Your Loved One?
There’s no question that injecting heroin is a more invasive way of taking the drug. And the use of syringes can lead to a variety of health complications.
Think about the last time you had a blood test. Using a syringe on the body is a very delicate practice. When your loved one injects heroin into their body, there is little room for error. For example, if the heroin needle doesn’t go in the skin far enough, the drug can pool beneath the skin and cause severe infections.
Vein Issues Are Common When Injecting Heroin
One of most common effects of injecting heroin involves the veins. Regular heroin use can cause veins to collapse, restricting blood flow throughout the body and increasing the risk of infection.
Many people who inject heroin are likely to develop venous sclerosis. Venous sclerosis is a condition that causes veins in your body to harden and become narrower. This makes bacterial infections much more likely after injecting heroin. Bacterial infections are known to rapidly spread throughout the body and can cause paralysis and even death if left untreated.
The Dangerous Practice of Sharing Needles
There’s a reason why many states throughout the country offer clean needle programs. Heroin users who share needles run a high risk of contracting a variety of blood-borne diseases. Two of the most common diseases you can get from sharing needles include HIV and Hepatitis C. In fact, according to the CDC, the majority of people with Hepatitis C contracted it after sharing needles during drug use.
Unfortunately, when it comes to these diseases, there are often added complications. Without regular medical attention and proper care, HIV and Hepatitis C take a heavy toll on the individual’s physical health.
An Increased Risk of Overdose
For anyone who knows someone abusing heroin, an overdose is often their worst fear. Unfortunately, when your loved one injects heroin, their risk of an overdose goes up.
Our body has a natural way of breaking down substances that enter our system. The kidneys, liver and digestive track all play a role in helping our body metabolize substances. But when someone injects heroin, the drug bypasses all those natural filters and goes straight into the bloodstream.
What this means is that a more concentrated dose of heroin reaches the opioids receptors in the brain. Unsurprisingly, when this happens, your loved one runs a much higher risk of their opioid receptors being stressed too far, resulting in an overdose. It’s also important to remember heroin that’s injected is in an impure form, which only adds to the danger.
Your Loved One Has a Chance to Heal
At Silver Maple Recovery, we know how destructive heroin can be for your loved one and your family. But no matter how much your loved one’s heroin addiction has stolen from them, there is hope for them to take it all back.
We offer heroin addiction treatment in Cleveland that uses evidence-based therapies to help people overcome heroin abuse. Our highly experienced addiction staff is ready to help your loved one on their journey to recovery. And it all takes place in our specialized heroin treatment center in Lorain, Ohio.
Helping your loved one take the first step in their recovery isn’t always easy, but it will be worth it. Contact us today to get started. We have professional caregivers ready to take your call 24/7.