What Is A Collapsed Vein?

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Within the map of a human body, there are miles and miles of little pathways – the blood vessels – responsible for carrying the blood throughout the body. Veins are a kind of blood vessel that lie close to the skin. They ensure the blood remains oxygenated by carrying it back to the heart and lungs throughout the body.

Veins form critical but fragile connections that ensure the optimal function of the cardiovascular system. Since veins are in close proximity to the skin, individuals with drug addiction administer drugs right into them. This leads to several insidious damages.

Read on to understand what a collapsed vein is, what causes it, and what the path of recovery looks like.

Knowing the Signs of A Collapsed Vein

A collapsed vein occurs when drugs are constantly injected into the same area of a vein. It is typically difficult to discern a collapsed vein just by looking at the skin because the injury takes place underneath the vein.

When a vein collapses, it fails to let the blood pass through it. In some cases, the vein itself blends into the injured area, disappearing into the skin.

Unlike blown veins, a collapsed vein doesn’t always cause visible signs of bruising. The most common indicator of this injury is the lack of blood flow through the vein. A collapsed vein can also trigger circulation issues in the limbs, such as numbness, tingling, itching, and cold feeling.

When left unattended, a collapsed vein exacerbates the circulation issues.

Drugs That Can Cause a Collapsed Vein

An injectable drug is a drug that is administered into the veins (or tissues) using a needle. While heroin is the most injected drug. Other drugs and substances like cocaine and performance steroids are also administered into the veins or skin.

The use of IV drugs triggers several damages. Factors such as the injection site, the skill of the person performing the procedure, and the area of injection are typically responsible for the type of vein damage. The most common damages include blown veins, collapsed veins, and scarred veins.

When the same site of injection is used repeatedly, or when the process is done poorly, the lining of the vein either swells or collapses. This prevents the blood from flowing through the vein.

How to Heal From A Collapsed Vein?

The human body has the incredible power to heal itself; the same holds true for a collapsed vein. But when the damage is too severe, the body switches to a process known as angiogenesis. During this process, instead of fixing the current damage to the vein, the body focuses on growing new ones. While this process is automatically initiated by the body, there are several ways an individual can recover from damaged veins. These include:

  • Putting on compression clothing such as stockings, socks, and sleeves.
  • Covering the feet and keeping as warm as much as possible by using socks, blankets, shoes, and more.
  • Exercising the veins in order to cultivate muscles around them by using a stress ball.
  • Improving bodily circulation through regular exercising.
  • Incorporating the necessary nutrients into the diet and using supplements to restore cardiovascular health (such as folic acids).

How Long Does It Take to Heal?

From days to years – the recovery process depends on the degree of damage that the vein has experienced. For instance, a damaged vein might heal fully within 12 days, but the process of vein regrowth might take months or years.

Getting the right help is critical to prevent irreparable vein damage and other life-threatening outcomes that accompany it.

By gaining comprehensive knowledge about specific drug addictions, understanding everything about the recovery process, and knowing how to find a safe method of healing – you can make informed decisions for a thriving future.

If you or a loved one is currently coping with drug addiction, reach out to Addiction Experts to pave the right path to recovery. 

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Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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