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.
The type of rehab does matter. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the type and style of rehab and treatment is extremely important. The treatment has to fit the person who needs it. Many treatment centers have a variety of treatment options available, but to choose the right one you need to understand….
Not to be confused with addiction to technology, more and more treatment centers are beginning to use technology in their diagnostic and treatment regiments. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, technology sharing has a profound impact on addiction research and furthering knowledge. Not only is technology allowing public and private sector research teams,….
Outpatient opiate rehab centers exist as one of many levels of care within the addiction recovery process. Whether or not outpatient opiate addiction treatment will work for you depends on a range of factors, including the severity of your addiction, your existing support system and how motivated you are to get well. Addressing Effects of….
Yes, you can force someone to go to rehab. Although this is not the preferable way to do it, it is possible to make someone check into a rehab center. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, rehab does not have to be a voluntary choice to work. It is however, considerably more difficult….
Heroin addiction is one of the most dangerous drugs in the entire world. The drug takes thousands of lives every year as a result of overdose or injury caused while under the use of heroin. The highly addictive drug that contributes to a very fast building of tolerance has numerous side effects and the risks….
Methamphetamine, more popularly known as meth or crystal meth, is a dangerous and all-encompassing drug. Smoked, snorted or injected, meth provides users with a long-lasting euphoric high. It does come with a cost, however. Meth is highly addictive, and is harmful to the physical and mental health of users. According to the National Institute on….
Finding a rehab center that is both local and beneficial to you specifically can be tricky. But there are ways of finding the best local rehab centers with a little investigation, careful searching, and planning. There are many individuals who can help you find great local rehab treatment facilities as well as websites you can….
For a lot of people, 12 step programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous, are mistakenly assumed to be part of all drug and alcohol treatment. For people who reject the fundamentals of the 12 step model, such as belief in a higher power, this confusion may lead to people avoiding rehab because they believe they will either….
Although it is possible to get sober in 28 days, you cannot completely cure addiction in 28 days. This is why long term rehab centers offer extended addiction programs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, time for treatment differs depending on several factors. It is important that the length of treatment match the….
Relapse – it’s the number one feature of nearly any addiction that tends to remain the same across the board. It’s also one of the most painful aspects of any addiction treatment program and it plagues most every recovering addict at least once and typically many times throughout their lives. Relapse happens to the vast….