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.
Featured Rehab Center
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 800-481-6320Who Answers? for help today.
Even though most people seeking drug and alcohol treatment are lucky to get 28 days, that’s not the ideal length of stay regardless of the severity of your addiction or your drug of choice. Short-term rehab is more often than not, completely insufficient for true drug and alcohol recovery. Because of the intensity of drug….
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….
When a person decides to stop drinking alcohol after forming a dependency to it, they will go through withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can be painful and dangerous, which is why most people need help detoxing from alcohol. Common symptoms that people experience when they detox from alcohol include vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, depression, uncontrollable….
Suicide & Mental Illness More oftentimes than not, someone who’s considering suicide is dealing with overwhelming emotional and/or psychological problems. According to the American Family Physician, over 90 percent of people who commit suicide struggle with one or more psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse. In effect, it’s not the psychological dysfunction that increases suicide risk,….
Millions of people online share their own personal stories of success, failure, despair and the disasters that come from living with an alcoholic husband but few share the keys to success or the methods of finding help. It can be trying, difficult, deceitful, dangerous and utmost disastrous to live with an individual who is an alcoholic,….
In the past 10 years, teen drug abuse has seen significant increased and some minor decreases along the way. Unfortunately, the number of teens who are now using dangerous drugs is seeing an all-time high that has not been reached in the prior 20 years. Teens today aren’t just experimenting with pot or alcohol, today’s teen drug….
It can be a rather delicate area when it comes to whether or not a person should consider dating during rehab. While there are several schools of thought on the subject, it is important to remember that your time in rehab, first and foremost, should be spent focused on your recovery. If you are looking….
Certainly, addiction crosses all barriers: gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age group, etc. And, all of these people also face the risk of a dual diagnosis, a situation in which a person receives more than one diagnosis for concurrent conditions, like addiction and depression for example. But, a recent study indicates non-heterosexual women who have….
Treatment professionals and others in recovery know that hope is the catalyst that keeps a struggling substance abuser motivated and engaged in recovery efforts. Long term effects of chronic substance abuse can bring on significant problems in the areas of medical and psychiatric health, employment, and family relations. These issues can be impediments to seeking….
Maybe you are unfamiliar with drug rehab or maybe you only know a little bit about it, the fact is though that you probably have many questions concerning drug rehab and this is likely the reason that you aren’t there yet. People fear the unknown and therefore many refrain from seeking help for drug addiction….