As HIV was the big killer for intravenous drug users in the 1980s, so is Hepatitis C today. There is an epidemic amongst young users in the 15 to 30 age group, and the rise in new infections is frightening; outstripping HIV infections at a rate of 10 to one, deaths from Hepatitis C-related infection are now greater than those from HIV-associated conditions, and have been since 2007.
Here are the 4 ways in which drugs can cause Hepatitis C:
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease, as the main source of transmission is from the blood of an infected person. So, injection of drug itself increases the risks of getting infected withit. Even a negligible amount of infected blood in the injecting equipment is enough to spread the disease.
Sharing needles is the most common way of getting infected with Hepatitis C. This means with anybody. It doesn’t matter if they’re your friends, your partner, or even your family.
Snorting drugs–like cocaine–can make one’s nose bleed. And,even if a tiny spot of infected blood falls on to the note that is later used by you, it can travel up to your nose and then into yourbloodstream risking for Hepatitis C infection.
It is not only the needle that causes infection. The tiny amount of infected blood from the cotton, syringe, spoon or even water used in taking the drug shot may lead to the transmission of Hepatitis C.Some 40% of infections come from infected kits.
Ask yourself why you take drugs. Even if you’ve been asked this question by others, have you ever truly asked yourself? You’re stronger than you think, and you can find your own answers.