By: Ava
September 13, 2021

How To Tell if Someone Is Shooting up Drugs

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There are various methods people use as a means of introducing drugs into their bodies. Depending on what form the substance comes in, one can ingest drugs by swallowing, smoking, snorting, or injecting, otherwise known as ‘shooting up.’ Injecting drugs into the bloodstream offers the most powerful high possible and is also a common way to overdose on these harmful substances. 

What Does ‘Shooting up Drugs’ Mean?

Shooting up is a method of introducing drugs into the bloodstream by means of injection with a hypodermic needle. Shooting up the drug provides the fastest and most powerful effects, and it is a method oftentimes used with meth or heroin ingestion. This type of drug intake allows for the drug to immediately integrate into the bloodstream, travelling directly to the brain, triggering sensations and feelings of elation throughout the body. 


By using this method to introduce drugs to your body, the invasive nature of injecting the drug predisposes users to more serious health complications, and depending on the drug, the effects can be life threatening. 


Shooting up also makes it easier to overdose on the drug that is being injected. When injecting drugs, the substance bypasses some of the body’s filtration and dilution mechanisms in the human digestive tract. The kidney and liver both help to metabolize and dilute the substances we consume, but by injecting the drug, the substance goes directly into the bloodstream, filter-free, causing potential death. 

What Drugs Can Someone Inject?

The substances that are commonly injected are meth or heroin. Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that one could form an addiction to in as little as one use. When consumed, Methamphetamine causes a rush of dopamine to a person’s brain. Dopamine is a chemical that is responsible for inducing one with feelings of pleasure as well as memory retention, learning, reward processing, and motivation. 


Through injecting or ‘shooting up’ meth, these feelings of pleasure are only heightened, and the effects of the drug are way stronger. Injecting meth is one of the most common ways to consume the drug because people quickly develop a tolerance to the harmful drug. Many start by snorting meth, then move on to smoking it, and then eventually begin to inject it. 


The other commonly injected drug is heroin. Shooting up is also the most common way to consume heroin, and it is reported that over 50% of people who reported using heroin say that they inject it. 


How Can You Tell if Someone Is Shooting up Drugs?

There are many physical symptoms of intravenous drug use that one could look out for. The first to look out for are bruises or what are called ‘track marks’ on a person’s body, commonly along the inside of the arm. When people are shooting up regularly, you will see marks that look like dark veins along the arm. 


Another physical sign of IV drug use are collapsed veins. They may be difficult to spot, but if you look closely at the area it’ll be easy to spot. There are also increased risks of skin infections caused by injecting intravenous drugs. As users start to inject the same spot repeatedly, physical damage to the skin and vein is common. 


Other possible signs of IV drug use include wearing unseasonably warm clothing as a means of hiding potential track marks, sudden weight loss, changes in a person’s routine such as poor sleeping habits and poor hygiene, and lack of interest in activities and relationships that were once of interest. 


Shooting up drugs not only puts a person at risk for overdose, but it can also lead to long-term health complications and the risk of developing conditions later in life. Multi Concept Recovery offers patients the chance to recover from IV drug use and improve their quality of life. Come visit our facility to learn more about overcoming a drug addiction today.