Unless you’ve been in a cave since the mid-1980’s, you know that drug use, particularly IV drug use, is correlated with HIV and AIDS. But over the last decade, the immune-deficiency disease hasn’t got the limelight it once did and people may not understand the risks associated with drug use and HIV.
A virus that attacks the body’s immune system, HIV is transmitted through contact with an infected individual’s blood or body fluids. It destroys T-helper cells, a specific kind of white blood cell, and mimics itself inside the cell, spreading quickly.
When talking about addiction and HIV, most people automatically assume you’re talking about sharing needles, but that’s not the only way addiction increases your risk to contract the virus. Addicts are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, especially when intoxicated, than others. These risky behaviors include unprotected sex, promiscuity, and prostitution, all which put those addicted to drugs and alcohol at a much higher risk rate than the average person.
Sharing needles is one of the main ways HIV is spread in the United States.
Although many don’t like to admit it, when you’re an IV drug user, eventually, no matter how hard you try not to, you’ll find yourself in a situation when you share a needle with someone else. Typically, there’s always a justification: it’s my boyfriend, I know she’s not infected, she’s my best friend, he’d tell me if he hadn’t been tested. But the fact remains, sharing a needle with anyone is dangerous.
According to the Center for Disease Control, it’s estimated that nearly 1.2 million Americans are infected with HIV, and over one in ten doesn’t know they’re infected. That’s over 156,000 people. That’s a lot. And that’s why HIV continues to spread.
What Happened in Indiana
In the summer of 2015, Indiana experienced the worst HIV outbreak in years, all related to heroin and IV drug use. As of February 2016, 188 cases have been diagnosed, a few more being added almost every month since the breakout began. This event has awakened some to the devastating effects heroin is having on our country, and has demonstrated to users the importance of not sharing needles. Even though so many people were infected, the progression has slowed immensely and policies are being put into place for harm reduction. The use of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a combination of two HIV medications, has been used to prevent infection in those who are most at risk. The drug combination reduces the risk of HIV by 90 percent through unprotected sex and 70 percent through IV drug use.
Drug Use Impacts Treatment
HIV and AIDS were once considered a fatal disease and diagnosis was a death sentence, but that’s not the case anymore. Treated with heavy anti-virals, HIV can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Unless you’re abusing drugs or alcohol. Drug use impacts the way your body accepts the treatment and doesn’t allow it get as many benefits.
Is Drug Use Putting You at Risk?
Are you concerned that your drug use is putting you at risk for HIV or AIDS? Are you ready to make a change and embrace a life in recovery? Call 800-481-6320 for help today.
People affected by dual diagnosis conditions struggle with the combined effects of addiction and one or more psychological disorders. When considered separately, both addiction and mental illness can greatly compromise a person’s ability to function in daily life. When combined, people living with dual diagnosis stand to experience the worst of what these two conditions….
According to the NIDA, “Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients,” and drug therapy uses pharmacological treatments to help those in addiction rehab. There are many benefits to the use of drug therapy for this purpose, and in most cases, it is a helpful treatment especially when paired with counseling. Some of….
The decision to enter drug treatment often comes with much deliberation and pain. After so many months or years of drug abuse, getting needed treatment help often becomes the only viable option. When asking the question, “Where can I find rehabilitation centers near me?,” gaining access to the vast array of resources available can go….
So it’s time to go to rehab? You probably have a ton of things on your mind. You might be really concerned about whether or not you can do this. That is usually the primary concerns. But, another biggie is whether or not the facility you have chosen is the right one for you. Maybe….
Drug rehab is a great opportunity for you–if you take it for what it’s worth and work with it! If you simply walk into drug rehab with the intention of not doing your part, then there’s a good chance that the treatment won’t do a whole lot for you. It’s an investment in your future, an….
Many challenges are faced in addiction treatment by both families, loved ones, user’s and treatment professionals. While healing from addiction is up to the addict, many take comfort in knowing that healing is possible with the right means of commitment, support and treatment. If you’re in treatment, know someone in treatment or thinking about treatment,….
Of all the known addictive substances, alcohol remains the most accepted in terms of the place it holds within American society’s customs and norms. For many struggling with alcohol abuse problems, what started out as a casual, commonplace indulgence morphed into an out-of-control behavior that slowly took over their lives. The type of help available….
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, “Residential treatment [or inpatient treatment] is a resource-intense high level of care, generally for adolescents with severe levels of addiction whose mental health and medical needs and addictive behaviors require a 24-hour structured environment to make recovery possible.” While not all adolescents need this level….
Getting the essential level of care to achieve long-term recovery is important and it means more than simply gaining abstinence when one has a substance dependency. Although your primary focus may be on ending or significantly reducing substance abuse, the associated problems also must be addressed in order to help you maintain abstinence and avert….
Michal Tibbetts, a 23-year old Massachusetts resident, was arrested Wednesday, March 21, 2018. He is faced with the charges of assaulting a child a running a drug manufacturing and trafficking organization out of his home in South Shore, which together, total 9 counts. The drugs he was distributing include marijuana, ecstasy, molly, Adderall, and potentially….