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What is a needle exchange program?

Also termed syringe services programs (SSPs), needle exchange programs are community-based operations that provide access to sterile injection equipment and disposal of used injection equipment at no cost. Access to sterile needles and other injection materials has been demonstrated to be effective in preventing the spread of infectious disease (such as HIV and hepatitis viruses) amongst needle drug users. Many programs that provide needle and syringe collection, disposal, and exchange services also offer disease screening, counseling, and referrals to appropriate substance abuse treatment services.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

What is the cotton used for when shooting up?

Cotton is used with the assumption that it provides some amount of filtration of impurities from the drug solution as it is drawn into the syringe prior to injection. While this may be the case for some large particles, it does little to nothing to filter any micro-organisms or micro-particles out of the solution intended for injection and provides no protection from potential irritation, inflammation, nor communicable diseases or infection. As a non-sterile foreign material itself, the piece of cotton used for these purposes could actually introduce additional risks of its own.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

What happens if you inject air into your muscles?

Injecting air places people at risk of an air bubble emboli and resulting downstream embolic events—that is, should the air bubble enter the circulation, it could become lodged in small blood vessels and block the delivery of blood (and oxygen) to vital organs and tissues including the heart, lungs, and brain.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

How to get rid of an abscess from shooting up?

Abscesses will not go away on their own. They require surgical incision and drainage followed by a significant duration of antibiotic treatment.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

How to heal veins from IV drug use?

Numerous pathologies can result from IV drug use and would be best evaluated by a medical professional for the right course of treatment. Antibiotics and/or surgical interventions may be necessary, for example. Chronic illnesses in association with injection drugs could also require long-term attention.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

What happens when you miss your vein shooting up?

Even if you hit a vein there are numerous risks associated with compromised injection techniques and non-sterile conditions. Shooting into muscle or surrounding soft tissues can result in localized pockets of infection, abscesses, cellulitis, and fasciitis. Once-localized infections may spread systemically if not effectively treated. Missing a vein and shooting into an artery can itself lead to systemic infections, but also places the injection user at risk of emboli (blood vessel blockage from foreign material, clot, air bubbles, etc.), ischemia (loss of blood delivery to parts of the body), valvular disease, and even stroke.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

What is a collapsed vein?

Venous collapse can occur in association with several potentially-connected phenomena, including direct venous trauma from needle insertion (especially blunt needles), venous sclerosis (hardening or scarring of blood vessel lining) resulting from repeated instances of such trauma and associated inflammation, exposure to irritants in the injected solution, as well as acute venous thrombosis (i.e., clot formation) resulting from acute or chronic vascular inflammation or exposure to foreign particles, micro-organisms, etc.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

How to tell if someone is shooting up drugs?

Some telltale signs of needle drug use include track marks, which are puncture wounds on the skin resulting from multiple points of needle insertion. Though these may most commonly be located on the arms, they may also be visible in other locations on the body such as neck and between fingers. Needle drug use may lead to prominent points of inflammation on the skin surface as well as more serious localized trauma/infections that result in ulcerations, abscesses, and cellulitis. Injection paraphernalia—such as needles, needle caps, lighters, spoons or other metallic receptacles used to “cook” the substance prior to injection, belts, rubber tubing, or other tourniquet material used to tie off a target blood vessel—may also be present.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

What drugs do you inject with a needle?

Common injection drugs include heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. In an attempt to experience a more intense, rapid-onset high, some people intentionally misuse medications intended to be taken orally by dissolving them in liquid solution and injecting them. Drugs used in this manner include prescription opioids, stimulants, and sedatives.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More

What drugs can you shoot up?

Perhaps most commonly, heroin; however there are several other drugs that some people use with needles such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Some medications such as prescription stimulants and opioid painkillers are also misused via needle routes.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More