How Heroin Abuse Affects Your Skin

drug treatment in columbus OHWhen it comes to drug abuse there are many things in your body that drugs affect. This post will look at the drug heroin and how heroin abuse affects your skin. One of the most widely abused illegal drugs being used in the United States is heroin. In composition, heroin is very similar to the opioid painkillers that are currently part of the escalating crisis in this country. Heroin falls into the opioid category of drugs and affects the brain much like Oxycontin and Vicodin. Heroin is one drug that has no medical or clinical use in the US. Opioids fall into the class of drugs that affect the brain by giving the user what is known as a rush causing the user to become very relaxed or possibly even feel sedated. There are many side effects of heroin and opioids. As users will soon find, some of these side effects can be deadly. If you need drug treatment in Columbus OH, call Legacy Freedom for help.

All of the organs of the body can be affected by heroin use. Your skin is your largest organ and can be affected by illicit drug use. Heroin is one of the drugs that is injected into the skin. Because it is injected it can cause lots of damage because of needles. The needles and the heroin being injected by the needles can cause abscesses and marks in the skin.

Dermotillomania or skin picking is often a result of heroin abuse. This is defined as an urge to pick at one’s skin compulsively. This comes from the body‘s response to a crawling sensation, agitation, or anxiety. Heroin is also known to rob the skin of important nutrients and oxygen. Heroin will also affect the central nervous system and can affect blood circulation, slow your heart rate, and interrupt regular respiration and your metabolism. In doing so heroin will make the skin flaky, itchy, extremely dry, and produce a feeling of coldness.

If an addict uses unclean needles, abscesses can occur in the skin. These abscesses can cause an infection and as a result of the infection an addict may suffer permanent scarring. Skin abscesses or what can also be known as boils can be linked directly to frequent heroin use. An abscess happens when there is an infection of the skin, occurring deep in the layers of the skin. At first the skin will look a bit red and tender. Next will come a more formed sore that is hard and firm when touched. Once the center of the abscess becomes softer the infection will fill the wound. When the head of the abscess forms then the abscess will need to be properly drained. This will require professional assistance. Sometimes an abscess will need to be surgically opened and drained of the infection.

As noted already, heroin can cause the skin to lose moisture. This causes itchy, dry skin. The itch is very much associated with heroin abuse. This itch can also be caused by dehydration or not getting the right nutrition resulting from the loss of appetite that heroin brings.

Most heroin users will choose to inject heroin. This is because they report that intravenous use will bring the best high. A huge problem is that when the drugs are injected it will cause skin changes. Scarring of the skin can occur where the injection sites are made in the skin. Scars are referred to as "tracks." Tracks are a big sign of drug abuse. In overdose cases hospital personnel are trained to look for these marks. As the addiction progresses more of the drug is needed so injections occur multiple times a day. This will potentially increase the scarring of the skin but will also result in the collapsing of veins as well.

Your body needs many essential vitamins and nutrients. One of these is vitamin C. Vitamin C keeps your body healthy and functioning properly. Other vitamins and nutrients work with vitamin C to help nourish your skin. They supply the skin with all of the collagen needed to maintain elasticity and resilience. Heroin addicts will lose their desire for food. As the addict's appetite decreases, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies result. This will certainly affect their hair, skin, and even nails. As a direct result of these deficiencies in the body, addicts who do not eat enough or drink enough water can develop multiple bruises on their bodies. These bruises can occur all over the skin.

When an addict is attempting withdrawal, the skin picking, and other disorders will worsen. The rubbing and tugging of the skin will increase. The increase in skin picking or self-mutilation is thought to be a coping mechanism to help users deal with opiate cravings. Pleasure or pain sensations are a temporary distraction from the need to use heroin. Picking can also provide an outlet for the intense anxiety, nervous tension, and restlessness that will accompany the withdrawal.

There are some therapies that help with these conditions. Behavioral modification can help with some withdrawal symptoms and aid in recovery. These include therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). These therapies aid in reducing the urge to self-mutilate. These well-known therapies have also proven to be valuable in the treatment of drug addiction. There are also some great alternative treatments that are currently being used such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, and guided meditation. These have all been proven to help the recovering addict to control anxiety-related behavior. They are also useful in managing the stress of withdrawal much more productively.

Affordable Outpatient Drug Treatment In Columbus OH

Our team at Legacy Freedom Columbus truly cares about you. We understand how difficult this can be for anyone who has struggled with addiction. At our drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, we focus on the patient’s well-being, always working to determine what triggers use and what we can do to help. Put your trust in us and we’ll help you get on the right path to recovery with drug treatment in Columbus OH you can trust.

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