Study Aims to Reduce Hep-C Transmission in Young Adults Who Inject Drugs


A new study aims to reduce hepatitis C (HCV) transmission among young adults who inject drugs. The study will equip participants with strategies to avoid situations and practices that put them at risk of contracting HCV. “What makes this intervention model different from others is that we are not focusing just on the moment a person injects drugs,” said study researcher Honoria Guarino, Ph.D., a principal investigator at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. and a researcher with the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at NYU Meyers College of Nursing. “We are looking at the bigger picture—what factors are putting them in situations where they are likely to inject unsafely. We want to give them planning skills to help them avoid those situations or deal with them more effectively if they come up.” The growing population of young people who inject drugs is at extremely high risk for...

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Hospitals Overwhelmed With Treating Diseases Resulting From IV Drug Use


Hospitals are struggling to deal with an overwhelming number of cases of diseases that result from intravenous opioid use, including hepatitis C, endocarditis and the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA. Hepatitis C is the most common infectious disease that affects people with opioid use disorder, USA Today reports. Reported cases of the disease almost tripled between 2010 and 2015. Endocarditis—a condition in which the heart’s inner lining is inflamed—is a side effect of opioid addiction. Hospitalizations for endocarditis rose almost 50 percent from 2002 to 2012, at an average cost of $50,000 per patient. MRSA is the second most common co-occurring condition with opioid use disorder, the article notes. The cost of treating the infection is about $60,000 per patient.

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Hepatitis C Spreads as a Result of Opioid Epidemic


New cases of hepatitis C are on the rise as a result of the nation’s opioid epidemic, according to health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this year that new hepatitis C cases have almost tripled nationwide in just a few years, The Washington Post reports. The increase is largely due to intravenous drug use among young adults. Hepatitis C can be contracted at any point during the drug injection process, including by using a drug cooker or tourniquet with another person’s blood on it, according to Shruti Mehta of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Treating hepatitis C can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and is limited by insurance and Medicaid, the article notes. Treatment is mostly unavailable to people who are still using illicit drugs.

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