Intravenous drug use literally means giving of the drug directly into a vein. The Latin translation of 'intra venous' means 'within the vein'. The simplest and most common way of intravenous drug use for recreational users is by the utilization of a hypodermic needle. The hypodermic syringe with a hollow needle was invented in 1844 by Francis Rynd. Injecting via intravenous these days is also known as 'slamming', 'shooting up', 'banging' or 'mainlining'. Most of the recreational drugs
used intravenously these days are also possible to be used by other methods such as snorting, inhaling or smoking. People still choose to inject drugs though due to various reasons. The three most prominent reasons are:
Injecting intravenously comes with risks associated with injecting any drug:
- Drugs injected by intravenous injection take effect within 15 to 30 seconds, faster than all other methods and over 10 times faster than by snorting.
- When drugs are injected intravenously the effects tend to be more potent than by smoking, snorting etc.
- Drugs bought in the form of intravenous injections are cheaper than buying in other forms or other drugs as a whole.
- Potential risk of transmission of HIV if sharing needles
- Skin infection from injecting
- Collapsed veins
- Poisoning due to chemicals which may be added to the drug by dealers
Intravenous Heroin Use
Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid that is derived from morphine. When heroin
is taken by intravenous injection it is in fact 3 to 5 times more potent than morphine. The effects of heroin re normally felt within a minute or two when used via intravenous injection and the peak is reached within ten minutes in comparison to 15 minutes when heroin is snorted or smoked. The analgesic effects will tend to last between three to five hours.
Intravenous injection creates a sensation of intense pleasure, otherwise known as a 'rush' lasting for a few minutes. After the rush, for about an hour, there is a sedation effect complete with the effects of:
Potential risks from injecting heroin include:
- Lack of pain (analgesia)
- Reduced Anxiety
- Increased empathy for others
Heroin withdrawal effects inclue:
- Liver damage
- Rotting teeth
- Slowed reaction times
- Uncontrollable body movements
These effects will normally last a few days and can be helped by medical use from a detox
or treatment center
Intravenous Methamphetamine Use
Methamphetamine, also known as speed, meth or chalk, is a psychoactive stimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of drugs. It can be taken via intravenous injection for a stronger and faster effect than by snorting or smoking. The effects of methamphetamine
are normally a rush felt between one and two minutes and then normal effects lasting from four to eight hours. The effects of methamphetamine taken via intravenous injection are:
Side effects of meth include:
- Increased energy
- Lack of pain
- Heavy breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Feel stronger than normal
- Making impulsive irrational decisions
- Increased sex drive
- 'Meth mouth' symptoms such as rotten or cracked teeth
- Cardiovascular, kidney and liver damage
Meth withdrawal symptoms will normally include fatigue, depression and increased appetite.
Both heroin and methamphetamine are highly addictive drugs with both a psychological and physical dependency. If addicted to any of these drugs it is recommended to check into a drug rehab
and attend 12 step meetings.