What is Intravenous Drug Use?

Intravenous injections rapidly admit drugs into the body by way of inserting a needle into a peripheral vein in the arm or leg.  Otherwise known as shooting, slamming, banging, blasting, or mainlining, intravenous injections usually result in a much more rapid availability of the drug into the system.  Intravenous injection also leads to a greater risk of dependency and infection from dirty needles or usage of toxic drugs.


Common Skin and Soft Tissue Infections with Intravenous Use

Skin Infections

Staph is the deadliest skin infection.  With over thirty varieties, staph infection symptoms can range from mild to life endangering.

Cause of Bacterial Infections (Skin and Soft tissue infections)

Bacterial infections often arise from injecting a needle into fatty tissue beneath the surface layer of skin.  Veins that leak during injection along with toxic drug usage can cause infection as well as tissue morbidity.  The presence of bacteria on the skin surface while injecting can also result in bacterial infection.

Types of Bacterial Infections




Heart Valve Infection

HIV Infection – AIDS

Liver Disease


The spread of the HIV virus across China, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe closely corresponds with the rapid rise in intravenous or IV drug use.

Signs of Infection

Bodily areas that are frequently injected often become tender, red, and warm to the touch.  Infections are primarily caused by a frequent pattern of injection that leads to scarring, discoloration, and swollen lymph glands.  High fever and heavy sweats accompanying swollen lymph glands may require immediate medical attention due to the possibility of an overdose or toxic reaction to some substance.

Commonly Injected Drugs

The most commonly injected drugs are heroin, amphetamines, barbiturates, buprenorphine, benzodiazepine, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Burning Tree Can Help People with Chemical Addictions

Making the decision to get help does not mean you are weak.  The fact is that depending upon the type of addiction you are suffering from, many withdrawal symptoms require the special skills and monitoring of an addiction specialist to ensure your safe recovery.  Short-term rehab centers are not equipped to provide you with the expertise, programs, and most importantly, time you need to process new learning skills that will prevent you from falling back into relapse.  Long-term solutions require long-term care.  At Burning Tree, our addiction specialists can help you safely navigate through co-occurring disorders by utilizing a dual diagnosis approach to treating chemical dependency behaviors and mental disorders.  If you are ready to break the cycle of relapse and take hold of a new life, call us at Burning Tree today.