The Dangers of Skin Abscess from Injecting Heroin

Skin Abscess from Injecting Heroin

Heroin use has risen in great numbers as opiate abuse exploded in recent years. The intense high that people using synthetic opioids enjoyed has driven people to seek out a cheaper option. This is why heroin use has been on the increase of late.

Drug use has increased across all regions and classes. Homeless camps and low-income groups have been hit very hard as well. Along with the increase in drug fueled death, another health hazard often occurs as well. These people are at higher risk of skin abscess that is from injecting heroin. A skin abscess itself can pose a danger to health outcomes. That is why it is good to be informed about what they are and what health effects can arise from them.

What is a Heroin Abscess?

A skin abscess is a tender mass circled by pink and red flesh, sometimes referred to as a “boil.” This bump is usually filled with pus or fluid, which is often a sign of infection from shooting up. They are very painful and warm to the touch and can show up anywhere on your body.

An abscess can form when the skin is broken via minor traumas, cuts, or inflammation. Your body’s immune system mounts an inflammatory response, with millions of white blood cells sent to the abscesses from shooting up. The middle of the abscess will then liquefy. This contains the dead cells, bacteria, and other scattered waste and remains. Sadly, antibiotics alone will not cure heroin abscess. These sores may need a doctor’s special treatment techniques as soon as possible.

How a Skin Abscess from Shooting Up Heroin Use Forms

Once a drug user becomes an addict, the fix becomes their number one goal. Nothing else in their life will matter. Oftentimes, an addict will find themselves using “dirty” needles in filthy conditions. These needles may have been contaminated with a user’s blood and bacteria, which then is passed to the current user.

Each person’s skin is covered in tiny bacterium that may colonize damaged areas, such as a needle puncture. These colonies are found to be present in fixed rooms in some major cities. Dirty needles send the bacteria through the skin and into the bloodstream and soft tissues. More than one puncture in the same area may worsen the wound and will, in turn, lead to infection. Forming a skin abscess from heroin addiction is common during the constant urge to get another fix. Multiple boils may form as the addict chooses other sites to shoot the drug. This leads to having more and more of the boils.

abscess from shooting up

Heroin Abscess Dangers And Complications

Without treatment, many adverse effects can arise from an abscess. If the infection spreads, it can cross the blood-brain barrier. The key structure of the blood-brain barrier is the “endothelial tight junction.” Cells that line the inside of blood can be impacted. The toxins and bacteria can enter and attack the brain tissue, which can mean brain swelling, and even death.

Another problem can arise, which is sepsis. Sepsis is a serious blood infection. These can occur in your abdomen, lungs, and urinary tract. Septic shock has a 50 percent death rate, so this is a very serious health event.

For users with a heart problem, or who have been using for a long time, there is also a chance of getting endocarditis. This affects the heart’s inner lining. This heart lining problem may happen over time. Some may think they have the flu, since fever, chills, nausea, and joint pain are the common symptoms. Making this error can lead to a serious heart health event.

Tissue death or gangrene in the abscess is another concern. Gangrene affects your arms, legs, toes, and fingers, common puncture points. It can start in a hand or leg and spread throughout your body and cause you to suffer shock. Shock will be marked by low blood pressure. Vital organs such as the brain are involved, causing blurred vision, fatigue, weakness, and feeling light headed.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Ken Seeley Communities is a recovery program for addiction and dual diagnosis. With an expert team, KSC guides you through the steps needed to beat heroin. This includes detox, treatment, and aftercare. Ken Seeley is a well known interventionist. Under his guidance, those with a substance problem are often persuaded to enter treatment. Once entered into the treatment process, you will be provided evidence-based treatment, as well as a health and wellness piece to support recovery. Sobriety is a multi-stage and multi-pronged effort, which is why our treatments are robust. For details about the program, please contact KSC today at (877) 744-0502.