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Heroin and Hepatitis C – A Dangerous Partnership

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) January 08, 2013

Heroin is the most common name for an illegal and often more potent form of morphine, a drug used to provide comfort in times of great pain. While forms of morphine can be extremely beneficial to those in need, heroin is extremely addictive and prolonged use often leads to immune suppression and various deadly infections. The hepatitis C virus is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver for which there is no preventative vaccine, and often leads to cirrhosis and even liver failure. According to the World Health Organization it is estimated that between 130 to 170 million people worldwide are living with the virus. Through their patient admittance records Sovereign Health of California has noticed a dramatic increase in heroin addiction at their drug rehab center. Using their newly created technology enhanced after care monitoring program (T.E.A.M.) Sovereign Health hopes to ensure long term sobriety from opiates and a decrease in the spread of hepatitis C.

Individually these two public health risks affect millions of people worldwide and cost millions of dollars in public health expenses as well. However, researchers are now finding an even more dangerous link between the two risks. In a 2011 study published recently by the Centers for Disease Control and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, researchers found that the primary cause of hepatitis C infection in Wisconsin was people sharing needles to inject heroin. Since heroin is commonly injected, users often share needles, and therefore infectious diseases with each other, leading to this deadly combination of health risks.

As a combination, heroin use and hepatitis C pose an even greater threat. Since heroin is so commonly injected, hepatitis can spread rapidly among hero

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