Can Risks associated with Intravenous Drug including Cotton fever be fatal?

Updated on October 1, 2020

Generally, people inject drugs to get a ‘quicker rush’, right? To get this ‘quicker rush’ people prepare drugs of their choice. 

To prepare this, most people filter the substance by using makeshift filters that are made from cigarette filters or cotton balls.  If they use cotton balls then they can be at risk of cotton fever symptoms.  Cotton balls can cause a flu-like illness known as fever.  This illness is referred to as a cotton fever by most Intravenous drug abusers. 

 Intravenous drug use and its risks

To have the most rapid effect of drugs most people inject the substance directly into the veins.  To inject the drug, they dilute or liquefy the drug by heating the substance so that it can be loaded into a syringe. 

But all these mind-altering substances can pose the most risk to IV users’ health. There are many risks associated with intravenous drugs as the substance is directly injected into the bloodstream.  These injected substances could contain foreign compounds that can put an individual’s health or life at great risk.

Here are the most common risks associated with IV drug use

1. Dependency

Dependency is basically a sense of compulsion to use a particular substance.  A person becomes addicted to that substance and he may face difficulties in controlling the use of that substance. 

With the dependency on IV drug use, a person may face the risk of loss of stability in terms of relationships, housing, and working.   The person starts neglecting other interests. Even the persistent use of IV drugs may cause many harmful effects.

2. Vein damage

IV drug use can cause damage to veins.  When users repeatedly inject IVD or use poor technique then vein can get damage.  This vein damage can also occur due to infection and irritation by noxious chemicals contained in the substance.

Mostly, IVD is injected into a femoral vein so it can cause issues like deep vein thrombosis, arterial bleeding, neuropathic pain, septicemia, and ischemia. Cocaine is the most dangerous drug in terms of vein damage as it has local anesthetic properties.

3. Bacterial infection

As illicit drugs are manufactured in sterile conditions so can cause various bacterial infections. Even if the injection technique is correct then also there is a risk of pathogens.  There can various bacterial problems like right-sided endocarditis, cellulitis, abscesses, septicemia, tetanus, and many others.

 Some types of IVD also causes various fungal infections to users like candida endophthalmitis.

4. Blood-borne virus infection

Of course, sharing of injecting equipment can cause virus infections like hepatitis C. people share injecting equipment due to which they become victims of blood-borne viruses like hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV.  

5. Cotton fever 

Some IVD users are diagnosed with cotton fever symptoms.  Cotton fever is another condition that poses the risk of intravenously drug abusers’ health.   Cotton fever symptoms may include an incredibly dangerous and unpleasant illness. 

Can Intravenous drug use risks be life-threatening?

IVD use is injurious to health and some of the risks associated with it can be life-threatening.  

However, the risks like cotton fever symptoms are not life-threatening and can be managed by the physician but there are various other risks that can be fatal for the users.

Here are some fatal risks associated with IVD use.

  • Botulism is the descending paralysis that can be fatal and is caused by IVD.  There are mainly 4 symptoms associated with it like Diplopia, Dysarthria, dysphonia, and Dysphagia.
  • If the IVD users are combining other sedatives with their substances then they can be at higher risk of death. 
  • Deaths caused by TB are also common among IVD users.

All in all, most of the risks associated with IVD use are fatal so it is better to say no to all IV drugs.

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