If you or a loved one have bruises on your arms from intravenous drug use, it might mean you need professional addiction treatment. Drugs such as heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, prescription opioids, and prescription stimulants are all drugs that can be injected into the vein to enter the bloodstream. Many users prefer this method because it causes the drug to hit them much faster and more potent.
Most injection sites include the forearms and wrists. Still, when scarring, inflammation at these places, damaged or collapsed veins, or intense bruising, it can be extremely painful and nearly impossible to inject drugs. People often move on to other injection sites like the groin, neck, hands, feet, and even face. Evoke Waltham offers effective treatment options for IV drug use and how to get rid of bruises from IV drug use. Call us today at 866.276.1920 to learn more about our Massachusetts addiction treatment center.
Signs of IV Drug Use
When you inject a drug into your vein, it is common for bruises to appear under the skin due to damaged blood vessels or leaking into the surrounding areas. Using dull or dirty needles while injecting drugs can cause damage to the vein, resulting in bruises from IV drug misuse. The signs of IV drug use can include:
- Bruising in injection sites, particularly around the arms and hands
- Needle marks or puncture wounds at the injection site
- Discoloration of veins due to damaged vessels
- Track markings on the skin caused by repeated injections
- Swelling, redness, or tenderness around the injection site
- Extreme fatigue
- Low blood pressure
Since these signs of IV drug use can be severe, it is crucial to seek professional help as soon as possible. Evoke Waltham offers comprehensive addiction treatment that can help you or your loved one manage the symptoms and how to get rid of bruises from IV drug use safely.
How to Get Rid of Bruises from IV Drug Use
The best way to heal any bruises caused by intravenous drug use is to stop injecting drugs or seek drug addiction treatment. Treatment ensures no further bruising will happen. When trying to heal the current bruises you already have, there are a few things you can do to heal them quicker:
- Ice – Applying ice immediately after the bruise has begun forming will reduce the blood flow in that area. Cooling down the blood vessels lessens the amount of blood that leaks into the surrounding area. This will not only prevent bruising but also swelling of the injection site.
- Heat – Once a bruise has already formed, or if it is an old bruise, you can apply heat to help boost circulation and increase your blood flow. Any leaking area in your vein has probably already healed itself, so applying heat won’t cause more blood to flow. This can help to clear out any trapped blood once the bruise has formed already. Adding heat will also help with muscle tension or tenderness in the area.
- Compression – Try wrapping the area in an elastic bandage. This will squeeze the surrounding tissue and prevent the blood vessels from leaking. Compression also helps reduce swelling and pain.
- Elevation – You can elevate the bruised injection site above your heart to drain the blood away from the area.
- Vitamin K – Using a cream with Vitamin K helps reduce blood clotting. It minimizes bruising if you apply it twice daily on your bruise.
- Arnica – This is a more homeopathic method, but doctors often prescribe it before and after surgery to reduce bruising. It is said to reduce inflammation and swelling, reducing your chances of bruising. You can take a supplement or use an arnica ointment on the bruised area.
Seeking treatment is the most important factor in how to get rid of bruises from IV drug use. It’s essential for your health and well-being to seek help as soon as you can. Evoke Waltham offers addiction treatment programs with evidence-based therapies that can help meet each individual’s unique needs and recovery goals.
Don’t Ignore the Signs of Intravenous Drug Use
Bruising is not the only thing you have to worry about when using drugs intravenously. Many other common occurrences can be very damaging to your veins and your overall health. Collapsed veins are a common side effect of IV drug use. If you keep injecting drugs into the same vein, it will eventually collapse and no longer transport blood into that vein.
Skin infections are also common for several reasons. The injection site will become infected if your skin is dirty or the needle is dirty. Skin-popping can also occur with IV use. This happens when you miss a vein and inject the drugs into a muscle instead. It will form a painful lump that takes a while to go away.
Find Drug Addiction Treatment at Evoke Waltham
The best way to heal your bruising the quickest is to stop using drugs intravenously. By continuing use, you are only compounding the problem. At Evoke Waltham, we offer many treatment programs that can put you on the path to sobriety. Contact us today at 866.276.1920 to get the help you or a loved one need to heal.