Use of illicit substances is a major health care problem in the United States. Two commonly used illicit substances are heroin and cocaine. Both drugs can have multiple effects on the body, including the development of wounds. This article explores the street terminology, methods of use, and physical effects of heroin and cocaine, psychophysical nursing diagnoses and problems associated with their use, and considerations for a wound care service for persons with a history of heroin or cocaine use.
Reprint requests: Barbara Pieper, PhD, RN, CS, CETN, FAAN, Associate Professor/Clinical Nurse Specialist, Wayne State University, Detroit Receiving Hospital/University Health Center, 5557 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.
Copyright © 1996 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society