There has been more and more intravenous drug use in the United States over the past ten years. There are many desieses that you can get when you shot up drugs and share needles with other. Some of these include HIV, hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and viral hemorrhagic fever. All of these can be life threatening and can cause you years of pain. If you have to do drugs, try not to share a needle with anyone else and always use a clean needle.
Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver. It is a DNA virus that mainly affects the liver but can also be found in the blood and body fluids. It triggers an immune response in the liver and can cause serious damage to the cells of the liver. There are 350 million people that have it with 46,000 new cases reported each year. Those that are 25-44 years of age have more of a chance in getting this desieses than any other age group. It can be spread among drug users who share needles if one person is infected. Some signs of an infection mimic the flu. You could also get a fever that is not explained and joint pain. It is not just drug users that can get hepatitis B; you can also get it from a tattoo shop that is not changing out there needles after every tattoo and from some acupuncture shops. If you go to these places, make sure they are taking out the needles from packaging, and they do not have the needle ready for you ahead of time.
Hepatitis C is also another one of the desieses that you can get from doing drugs. Unlike Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C can be transmitted through any source of blood contact. It is widely spread among drug users by sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia including the straws used to snort cocaine. Drug users make up 30-40 % of all cases. Infections of this desieses have surpassed 50% of all new cases being reported each year. Hepatitis C also attaches to the liver cells. There are eight key steps to an infection. The symptoms can be very mild and fatigue seems to be the top symptom one will have. Your liver enzymes will be elevated and 80% of cases will progress to the chronic stage. This will result in cirrhosis of the liver, which can take over 20 years to develop. Some people do well and others can die within 5-10 years after catching Hepatitis C. Liver cancer can also develop and this can take over 30 years to show up.
Tips and comments
If you want to avoid desieses from drug use there is one important step that you can take. Do not share needles with anyone. You do not want to share with strangers or even your spouse. If you feel the need to do drugs, there are free clinics that will give out clean needles for you to use. This was first done when the AIDS virus was also associated with drug users.
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