If you inject drugs too much, it can cause your vein to collapse, which can be quite painful. Why does this happen from injecting drugs, and how can you reduce the harm caused by IV drug use? Getting collapsed veins is a genuine and pervasive problem for intravenous drug users. Long-term or habitual IV drug users will likely develop one or more collapsed veins due to a recurring injury from IV use to the same vein.
While recovering from IV drug use is possible and recommended, the damage inflicted on your veins can be permanent and lead to severe complications to your health. Evoke Waltham’s Massachusetts addiction treatment center offers treatment programs to help those suffering from IV drug use and its effects. Call us at 866.276.1920 to learn more about how do veins collapse from IV drug use and how our treatment programs can help you or someone you know with addiction treatment.
How Do Veins Collapse from IV Drug Use?
A collapsed vein occurs because of a chronic injury due to intravenous drug use. After someone repeatedly injects into the same vein for weeks or even months, the internal lining in the vein will become swollen before it collapses all together causes the blood flow in that vein to stop.
The most common warning signs of a collapsed vein are:
- Pain when injecting
- Discoloration of the skin overlying the vein
- Unexpected swelling of the arm or leg
- Hardness in the vein
IV drug users may also notice discoloration and bulging in the area they usually inject, as well as swelling or inflammation along the vein.
What Causes Permanent Vein Collapse?
In many cases, the vein can recover once the swelling goes away, and the blood flow can return to normal. However, a permanent collapse is a very real possibility. Many different things can cause a vein to collapse permanently, such as:
- Use of a blunt needle
- Repeat use in the same vein for drug use
- Removing the needle too quickly after injecting
- Improper injection technique
- Using drugs that irritate the veins and lead to inflammation
When you have a collapsed vein, you may experience acute pain at the injection site, discoloration at the injection site, and cold feet or hands from an insufficient flow of blood, as well as itchiness and pain once the vein starts to heal.
Treatment for a Collapsed Vein
Treating a collapsed vein is very simple. The best thing, but also the hardest thing to do, is to stop using drugs intravenously or stop using drugs altogether. You can also stop injecting into the same vein over and over. This gives the vein time to heal and will help prevent any further damage. Some different supplements and vitamins can assist in treating veins that are inflamed. For example, vitamin C is a proven treatment that can help ease the inflammation related to collapsed veins.
Overall, veins can collapse from IV drug use if the user does not take the proper precautions when injecting. If you are using drugs intravenously, it is important to know all of the potential risks and dangers that come along with this activity. Evoke Waltham’s Massachusetts addiction treatment center offers treatment programs to help those suffering from IV drug use and its effects.
Dangers of IV Drug Use
When a vein has permanently collapsed, and there is no way to repair itself, sometimes smaller, new veins will form to replace the one that can no longer function and carry blood through the body. However, these slammer veins do not give enough blood flow, and impaired circulation will result. Poor circulation can lead to many serious health issues, such as:
- Blood clots and pulmonary embolisms
- Organ damage
- Cellulitis (an infection of the skin and underlying tissue)
- Soft tissue damage
- Cyanosis of the limb
IV drug use is incredibly dangerous, not only because of the dangers of addiction but also because it carries such a high risk for vein collapse and other serious health issues.
How to Avoid a Collapsed Vein?
Even if you cannot entirely quit now, you should take every precaution to reduce the harm caused by IV drug use. Some things you can do to avoid a collapsed vein include:
- Find a needle exchange program, or always use new needles
- Make sure you do not hit an artery
- Do not inject into small veins such as the ones in your hands
- Do not inject into bruised or swollen places
- Always clean the area beforehand to prevent any dirt or debris from entering the vein
- Don’t tie a tourniquet too tight
- Be careful when removing the needle, and apply pressure afterward to stop bleeding.
Collapsing veins from IV drug use is a severe problem that needs to be addressed. If you are using drugs intravenously, remember to take all the necessary precautions to prevent vein collapse and know all the risks involved.
Get Help with Recovery at Evoke Waltham
Suppose you are ready to stop using drugs altogether. We have addiction specialists who can help you find the proper treatment. It is time you take that step to help you on your path to a happier and healthier lifestyle, free from addiction. At Evoke Waltham, we offer high-quality services and evidence-based treatment programs that can help you overcome your addiction. Contact us at 866.276.1920 to learn more about how do veins collapse from IV drug use and how our treatment programs can help you or someone you know with addiction treatment.