Drug addiction is a devastating disease. Noticing changes in a loved one and being concerned about their drug use is an incredibly stressful situation, especially since it can be difficult to determine exactly how much or how often a loved one may be using drugs. Finding clear signs of drug use is the first step toward understanding the scope of the situation and opening a conversation about treatment. Track marks are an unmistakable sign of drug use, and while finding track marks creates very delicate and challenging situations, identifying track marks can be a crucial piece of evidence to begin a conversation about healing and sobriety through Hawaii Island Recovery.
What Are Track Marks?
Track marks are one of many signs of drug use and drug addiction that an individual may find on a loved one. They manifest as several small punctures, scars, or bruises at injection sites where drugs are being used intravenously. For some, they can be small scabs, while others will have small dots, irritation, redness, and more, depending on various factors.
These signs of injection can persist for a long time after drugs have been used and often have difficulty healing properly. Noticing not just that there are these scabs but that they are remaining for a long time can be another indication of drug use. In some cases, this is because these scabs are being torn off or further disrupted due to repeated drug use in the same location, while others may have difficulty healing as addiction affects a person’s physical health or diet, and an individual lacks the proper nutrients to effectively heal.
While arms and legs are common places to find track marks, track marks themselves can be anywhere. The frequency of drug use, sanitization of needles, and overall physical health can all affect the manifestation and severity of track marks. These sites can also become infected, with some situations even leading to wound botulism due to drug injection. Those injecting drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, or other illicit substances will often make a dedicated effort to hide these signs of use, such as by wearing out-of-season clothing like sweatshirts and pants in summer to cover the affected skin.
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What Can I Do if I Suspect Track Marks?
Suspecting or finding track marks on a loved one is an incredibly stressful situation. It is important to work with the professionals at Hawaii Island Recovery to navigate the situation appropriately. While it is tempting to jump in and confront a loved one to make immediate changes, this can cause many to become resistant or antagonistic toward treatment. Rather, identifying additional signs and evidence of drug use can be instrumental in creating a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Some additional signs of drug use can include:
- Compromised hygiene routine
- Sudden onset of financial challenges
- Mood swings, or increase in anxiety, depression, anger, and more
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Compromised academic or professional performance or attendance
- Self-isolation or aversion to social events
- Compromised ability to tend to personal or professional responsibilities
It is also common that those engaging with drugs may have drugs hidden in personal spaces. Locating further physical evidence of use, as well as possible drug paraphernalia such as finding needles in the trash, is necessary while gathering evidence to address the situation.
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Talking To Loved Ones About Drug Use
Evidence is crucial for having an effective conversation about drug use, treatment, and addiction recovery. Using evidence such as identifying track marks alongside other signs and evidence of use can empower loved ones to confront their use of drugs themselves. Rather than it being an interpersonal confrontation, having loved ones address the evidence of drug use can be an important distinction in establishing oneself as a supportive ally going forward.
Likewise, ensuring that these conversations and questions about track marks are done in a safe space and without time constraints can be important to allow loved ones to speak about their needs and situation, as well as ask their own questions. These conversations can be highly emotionally charged, so waiting until each party involved is calm and able to address the situation fairly is crucial for further establishing oneself as a support in recovery rather than a hurdle to further use.
Engaging in Comprehensive Healing
Healing from drug addiction is complicated. Not only must an individual challenge and overcome the emotional and mental effects of addiction but must track marks can also indicate that a great deal of physical damage may have already been done to the body. Engaging in effective addiction treatment means tending to an array of needs, from mental and emotional to physical, social, and even spiritual. Hawaii Island Recovery’s Hawaii inpatient drug rehab is committed to not only helping take this first step in navigating detox and drug addiction and the physical health implications of track marks but also creating a truly transformational approach to a healthy future.
Identifying and overcoming drug use is difficult, and identifying track marks on a loved one can bring a wide array of difficult and delicate situations. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we are prepared to help you learn how you can help loved ones take their first step toward sobriety and recovery. We utilize not only up-to-date proven therapeutic practices but also incorporate the family in each step of the healing process through family programs, education, and more. We also personalize each step of the treatment process, making our Hawaii inpatient drug rehab a unique and profound experience that can help you address your unique needs and goals in personal and familial healing. For more information, call us today at (866) 390-5070.