Sober living

Primary Care for Persons Who Inject Drugs

Professional help can provide the structure and experienced guidance that can make a difference on the path to recovery. Several models based on systems dynamics have been developed in the drug-use area (O’Brien, 1973; Levin et al., 1975). Yet each of the available models is limited by some key problems in the underlying assumption or assumptions. The capture-recapture model depends on the questionable assumptions that the population is stable, that each capture is an independent event and is not dependent on previous capture, and that a complete capture history is available.

Both conditions require prompt medical treatment and can become life-threatening if not adequately treated. Skin and veins can easily become scarred, inflamed, and infected, which is evident in most cases. In particular, Heroin users suffer from vein damage due to the amount of injections users typically administer.

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Treat missed shots (those that ended up somewhere other than in your vein) immediately with a warm water soak or compress to reduce the likelihood of irritation and abscess formation. Warmth will open the capillaries and bring disease-fighting white blood cells to the affected area. This section of the manual presents information on proper injection technique (intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous injection).

Although knowledge of the exact mechanism behind this association is still limited, repeated trauma to the vein may be partly responsible along with the intrinsic properties of the injected substances and the acidity of some preparations [6-10]. Given the high relapse rates of drug users after they leave drug treatment programs and the ineffectiveness of currently available treatment for some injectable drugs, the complete elimination of injection behavior is not a realistic goal. Change should be conceptualized as risk reduction rather than complete risk elimination. Moving toward a more moderate, more realistic set of goals will broaden the possible approaches to risk reduction programs; these efforts should include mechanisms to prevent relapse.

Possible side effects

The most commonly occurring local symptoms were groin pain, swelling, erythema, elevated local temperature, and/or cyanosis or skin necrosis of the affected limb [15]. If you or someone you love is struggling with and addiction, The Recovery Village can help. Our organization is dedicated to helping people on their journey to a healthier, drug-free future. Contact us today to learn more about how our evidence-based addiction treatment programs can work well for your situation and recovery needs.

  • Because crack comes in a solid form (rock), it is necessary to dissolve it first.
  • With standard IV administration, a needle is usually inserted into a vein in your wrist, elbow, or the back of your hand.
  • Consequently, it is critical that interviewers not be perceived as people who can have an effect on drug treatment, legal proceedings, or other such interventions.
  • Other studies reported in 1987 indicate some limitations on the AIDS prevention efforts aimed at IV drug users.
  • People use cannabis by smoking, eating or inhaling a vaporized form of the drug.
  • On average, people who inject drugs are over 34 times more likely to develop venous or leg ulcers than those who have never injected before.
  • One of the most common signs of IV drug misuse is a large amount of weight loss in a few months.

The bump from the solution you injected will slowly decrease as the liquid is absorbed into the body, and should disappear completely within a few hours. If you skin pop where the skin is loose, pinch the skin between your thumb and forefinger and put the needle into the skin you’ve pulled up. Learning how to inject properly, like mastering any other complicated activity, takes practice. After a while, you will no doubt be able to hit veins you’ve never used before on the first try, causing minimal trauma to the injection site and leaving a tiny puncture wound that barely bleeds. You will develop ‘a feel’ for where your veins are and how you need to position and insert your needle in order to get a good hit. Nearly all drugs can be injected intravenously, but some are more commonly used than others.


Guidance about length of treatment in the general population is not based on evidence from this particular group. Factors such as continuing injection (known to increase recurrence risk) may be more relevant. Skilled management of ulcers by nursing staff, and use of stockings and compression bandages, are also necessary but again require regular, periodic clinic attendance to be effective. Transitioning from inpatient to outpatient treatment for iv drug use infectious endocarditis may be complicated by concerns about discharging PWID with intravenous access for completion of parenteral antibiotic treatment. Short-course intravenous or oral antibiotic regimens may be considered in some uncomplicated cases.69 Persons with severe valvular regurgitation from infectious endocarditis should be referred for valve replacement. Injection drug users are at a greater risk of DVT, according to several studies.

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). In this paper, we describe the epidemiology, presentation, diagnosis and management of infections in IDUs who may present to acute physicians and the management of drug dependency on acute medical wards. Although consistently higher seroprevalence rates have been found among minority IV drug users, more complete interpretations of the data raise questions about factors that may differentially predispose minorities to HIV infection.

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