Substance abuse can make people do things to themselves and others that they would never consider if they were sober. The grip of addiction is itself a harmful and deadly practice, and there are various aspects of it that make users more vulnerable to different kinds of health problems in addition to the damage from the drugs themselves.
One of the most devastating results is the spread of infectious diseases through the use of injecting drugs and sharing needles. While most people might assume that heroin is the only drug that is used intravenously, other drugs fit into this category as well, such as methamphetamine and cocaine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a report about the 220 counties in the United States that are most at risk to an increase of HIV and hepatitis C outbreaks from needle-sharing drug users. The results of this report appear in the June edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
Of the counties named, more than half of them are in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, where rural areas have been hit heavily by IV drug use of opioids.
“Our main goal was to prevent this from happening again, and this is one way we think we can help jurisdictions,” study author John Brooks, Senior Medical Advisor for the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, told the Wall Street Journal.
Officials in the areas most at risk are working to provide more prevention programs, testing centers and other forms of assistance. While these might help a little bit, the most beneficial help would be to provide more treatment beds for addicts so they stop using drugs altogether. Recovery is the best prevention of this form of outbreak.
If you have a loved one addiction to drugs, whether they are using them intravenously or not, contact us today to find out how we can help.