Heroin is, in and of itself, a dangerous drug with a number of potentially devastating side effects. However, when the individual is involved with shooting heroin, these dangers are multiplied exponentially. Men and women who are living with heroin addictions, and taking the drug with needles and syringes are putting themselves at risk for a number of serious health issues.
Shooting Heroin as a Part of Addiction
Although smoking or snorting heroin have both become more popular means of doing heroin in recent years, there are still countless individuals who prefer to inject heroin into their bloodstream using a needle and syringe. Why do so many men and women prefer this dangerous method of using heroin? The answer is simple: no other means of heroin use causes the effects of the drug to take hold as quickly as injection. Those individuals who start taking heroin by smoking or snorting are likely to shoot heroin later on, as they become addicted – as it is the only way to achieve a “high” as their tolerance continues to grow.
What Makes Injecting Heroin so Dangerous?
An individual who is shooting heroin in his or her veins is delivering a high dosage of the drug into their bloodstream quickly and intensely. Many people are unable to handle this intense experience, and may suffer a heroin overdose. IV heroin use also makes “bad doses” of the drug even more dangerous, as the individual will be ill-prepared to recover from too-strong versions of the drug, or heroin cut using toxic materials.
Peripheral Problems with Shooting Up Heroin
In recent years, people shooting up heroin have been among the most at-risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Why? When individuals share used needles, they are taking in the bodily fluids of those who used the needle previously. If that individual has HIV, then the chance of the disease spreading is great. This has also been the case with Hepatitis. The B and C strands of hepatitis have both seen growth in recent years, primarily as a result of heroin drug addicts spreading the disease via used needles.
To help combat these problems, many social services departments in major cities have begun offering needle exchange programs. These controversial efforts give the heroin addict a place where they can obtain clean needles for free. In addition to the needles themselves, the individual also receives important information about the dangers of heroin addiction – and support in their effort to get into a heroin drug rehab program.