DRUG USE INCREASES YOUR RISK OF BLOOD DISEASES
- July 10, 2018
Diseases like HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis are very real and extremely life-threatening. To make matters worse, it is not easy to tell if individuals are infected with any of these blood diseases. This is one of the common problems with intravenous drug users that share needles.
Sharing a needle is harmful to others
It is undeniable that sharing needles with other drug addicts is one of the leading causes of blood disease transfers between individuals. A study published in 1994 by the US National Library of Medicine found that 70.4% of the 2,524 patients with HIV admit sharing needles within a year prior to discovering they had the disease.
In addition to spreading HIV, studies find there is a rapid increase in the number of individuals, particularly addicts, infected with Hepatitis C (HCV). Studies from 2014 demonstrate that each individual that shares needles with other drug users is likely to spread the disease to 20 other people. The 2014 study found that 30,500 individuals had new HCV infections, with the majority being individuals that injected drugs.
Hepatitis B (HBV) is another blood disease that is extremely common among intravenous drug users. The same 2014 study found that nearly 25% of all people who inject drugs were infected with this disease.
Injecting drugs is harmful to addicts
Unfortunately, these blood diseases are often spread to the addict’s family members and friends living in the same household. Quite often, addicts infected with these diseases go a long time without realizing they have the disease. By the time they discover it, they have already spread it to their spouses.
For addicts, blood diseases are not the only type of illnesses they should worry about. Long-term use of intravenous drug users run the risk of developing scars on their veins, collapsed veins, and life-threatening bacterial infections in the blood. These infections can quickly spread to the heart valves, blood vessels, and abscesses in the skin.
If heroin contains substances that do not readily dissolve, they can quickly clog blood vessels in the lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain and create potentially life-threatening situations or even death in users.
Unfortunately, these diseases are reaching innocent victims across the country. As intravenous drug users inject and leave their needles lying around throughout communities, small children and animals are finding them and being harmed.
Some communities establish ‘safe injection sites’ throughout, but some addicts avoid these locations. Using heroin or other intravenous drugs is extremely dangerous to addicts, their loved ones, and communities. The only way to ensure you are protected against these diseases is to stop using the drug.
It may seem difficult to treat your addiction, but it is not impossible. We have people come in every day at Asana Recovery who have a difficult time imagining a life without drugs. We have an exceptional detox program that helps them clean their system, and an outstanding inpatient program they can use to help develop skills to live a healthier life.
If you are unsure how to get started in treating your addiction, call us now at (949) 416-3341 for more information.