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The Dangers of Drug Addiction and Sharing Needles

May 11, 2016 - - 0 Comments

The Dangers of Drug Addiction and Sharing Needles

Even though the dangers of sharing needles are widely publicized, often the consequences can’t match the cravings involved with drug addiction. So, despite the consequences individuals continue to shoot up, and share needles, further fueling their addiction. Needle sharing constitutes the repeated used of syringes to intravenously inject substances like heroin into individual’s bodies. Because blood and bodily fluids can be exchanged in this process, blood borne illnesses, diseases, and sicknesses can easily be passed between individuals. This behavior is heavily frowned upon because it is not only effecting the individuals using drugs, but it also has the potential to impose huge negative consequences on the surrounding populations.

When sharing needles, may times individuals ignore the consequences because withdrawal symptoms may be too much to handle, or because they enjoy their addiction. Needle user are much more likely to contract illnesses and diseases because often times, they don’t know they have contracted something, and they continue to share needles. Many other times, individuals will disclose they have contracted something, but the individuals they are sharing needles with continue to use the needles, because their addiction may be too strong. Frequently needle user’s contract Hepatitis B and C, HIV, and run the risk of catching other deadly sicknesses such as Malaria.

Unfortunately, this high-risk behavior easily spills out of the drug abuser community. When needles are improperly disposed of, they produce an immediate risk to the environment and the people in the community. An unaware individual could walk by and step on the needle, causing them to contract a form of Hepatitis or HIV. First responding medical professionals also run into the situation frequently. When arriving on the scene of an overdose, or dealing with drug abusers, first responders run the risk of being poked by improperly carried or concealed needles, exposing them to illnesses. Others directly in harm’s way include potential sexual partners for individuals who share needles. Again, because the frequency of unknowingly contracting illnesses, needle sharers run the risk of infecting possible sexual partners; ruining the life of an innocent person.

There are still frequent debates on how to handle the situation of drug abuse and needle sharing. Many communities have implemented a needle exchange program, where drug abusers can go to a facility and trade used needles for fresh needles. This does help the individuals to continue their drug use, but it does ensure proper disposal of needles, and serves as an insulator for the community. Although solutions as such are good ideas, they are only temporary until a comprehensive plan can be created to solve the issue.

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