Track Marks

What Does Track Marks Mean?

Track marks are visible skin puncture scars caused by injecting drugs into the body, either directly into the vein, beneath the skin, or into muscle tissue. The marks are a result of contaminants found in the drugs being used, old and blunt needles, or repeated injection into the same area of the body. It is normally the sign of chronic drug abuse.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Track Marks

Track marks are caused by the injecting of drugs such as cocaine, opiates, heroin, PCP, morphine, or methamphetamine in order to speed up the delivery of drugs into the body and achieve a more intense high in the user. Fresh track marks appear as puncture wounds with possible bruises or scars. Old track marks appear as raised scars with a darker pigmentation to the skin surrounding it. A person who uses drugs intravenously may also be at risk of contracting infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C through the use of shared needles. As track marks are often found on the arms, hands and feet, the user may attempt to conceal them by wearing clothing that conceals the skin or getting tattoos over the affected area. Track marks do not disappear easily after the drug use ceases and may be visible for many years after.


Share this Term

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Related Reading


Drug TestingWorkplace Testing 101OpiatesWorker Health Monitoring

Trending Articles

Go back to top