5 Signs Someone is Shooting Up

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Drug use affects more than 13 million people worldwide with any combination of binging or use through IV. Not everyone who uses drugs takes them intravenously but those who do have an increased risk of health complications later on such as serious diseases, memory loss and HIV. Here we’re going to talk about signs and symptoms of shooting up and how to tell if someone is injecting drugs.

Continue reading to learn more about signs of substance abuse and signs someone is shooting up with IV drugs.

How to Notice Substance Abuse

It sometimes can be difficult to physically notice signs someone is shooting up because there are many hidden areas that cannot be seen without specifically looking. One of the main symptoms of shooting up or substance abuse, in general, is when someone experiences frequent highs and lows.

Now, this doesn’t always mean that someone has a drug problem but it is associated with substance abuse. Individuals who abuse drugs that can be taken intravenously will do so in order to feel the high more quickly than other ways of getting high. The flip side to injecting drugs is that as quickly as the high comes, it goes giving the individual extreme highs and lows. The low can also be considered a period of crashing and some other signs someone is shooting up related to lows can be noted as:

• Head nodding
• Falling asleep in any place or position
• Irritability
• Severe Mood Swings
• Difficulty making decisions
• Problems thinking clearly
• Difficulty concentrating

Besides noting highs and lows related to substance abuse there are also physical symptoms that can help with how to tell if someone is injecting drugs. Up next we have 5 signs someone is shooting up.

How to Tell Is Someone is Injecting Drugs

Not all drugs are injected intravenously but the most common types of drugs that are injected are meth, heroin, mixtures of heroin and cocaine as well as bath salts, steroids, prescription drugs, PCP and ketamine. Some signs someone is shooting up can stem from a physical appearance in relation to clothes and weight as well as changes in appetite. Here are some common signs and symptoms of someone shooting up.

1. Injection Sites – It can be difficult to notice injection locations but the most common locations are the elbow, foot, arm, leg or between the toes. These places normally show a small bruise that will change color over time. There will also be track marks that can be noted as dark veins along the arm.

2. Collapsed Veins – Another physical sign someone is shooting up is one or various collapsed veins. If a vein is used continuously, or repeatedly to inject the substance, over time the vein may collapse and stop functioning properly.

3. Infections in the skin – When certain areas of the body are used repeatedly to inject drugs, these areas can have damage and can become infected. It’s as simple as wearing a dirty article of clothing various times and allowing it to touch the damaged area and it gets infected.

4. Skin popping – This is a sign of someone shooting up and can be noted when someone injects the drug into the muscle instead of the vein. The muscle will cause lumps or bumps to form and scar tissue will build up and can be noted in the arms and legs of individuals who use drugs through IV.

5. Soot Tattoos – This specific sign is directly caused by the flame that is used to light the needle before injecting it into the skin. The soot can leave dark marks on the skin that become darker over time.

If you believe that someone you know and love is struggling with addiction and have noticed signs on the body, reaching out to a treatment center for ideas for help can be a great first step. After that, speaking with family and friends to stage a possible intervention can be another great step forward. Ensuring that your loved one gets help is most important.

At Legacy Healing Center, our approach to recovery is built around a holistic methodology. We look at addiction as a comprehensive issue and offer a complete set of services to heal the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. Combining research-evidenced practices from medicine and psychology, our team of highly trained professionals looks at all aspects of our clients’ lives on an individual basis. Our holistic approach to healing encompasses more than dealing with addiction through primary treatment strategies like therapy and meetings. We offer a full range of services to heal the whole person, body, mind and spirit.