Intravenous Drug Users

Sarah A. Stahmer Suzanne M. Shepherd

Pathophysiology ClinicalFeatures

Fever

Dyspnea

Altered,, Mental „Sta.tMs BackPain

Specific., Infections Endocarditis iPuim,on,ar.Y„I.n.fe,c,tlo,ns

Vascular„Infections

Bone, .andJoint Infections Hepatic.Disease Ophthalm,ologic.„In,fections Chapter References

The practice of intravenous injection and the lifestyle of the intravenous drug user (IVDU), place the individual at risk for a wide variety of infectious and noninfectious complications.12 and 3 In addition to those entities typically associated with IV drug use, such as endocarditis and hepatitis, IV drug use remains one of the greatest risk factors for acquiring the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The lifestyle associated with IV drug use increases the risk of trauma and sexually transmitted diseases. This population is also is placed at risk by a high incidence of homelessness, nutritional deficiencies, smoking and alcohol use, and mental illness.

Complications of the IVDU may be obvious from the start, such as a painful swelling due to a skin abscess. However, constitutional symptoms such as weakness, anorexia, body pains, weight loss, and fever are common and may be the only subtle sign(s) of serious underlying disease ( Tab.l.§... . 298-1).

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