As per the data available on the official website of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), around 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV. The researchers have established a link between drug abuse and the spread of the HIV virus. Medical fraternity agrees that alcohol and drugs change the way people think and behave. There are certain drugs that alter the way the brain functions and it has also been proven that drug addicts and heavy drinkers are likely to indulge in risky behavior. In this post, we’ve tried to throw some light on the relation between drug abuse and the spread of the HIV virus.
- One in every three persons with HIV (in the US) is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Injection drug use is one of the main causes responsible for the spread of HIV. Many drug addicts share needles while injecting drugs in their bodies. Sharing of needles is considered very risky as it exposes them to dangerous viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
- Drug and alcohol use is associated with risky sexual behavior. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol are more likely to indulge in unsafe sex. One of the studies has also linked drug and alcohol abuse with less frequent condom use. Moreover, alcohol and drugs impair the judgment of an individual. Some people may also trade sex for drugs and or money, making them all the more vulnerable to HIV and other viruses.
- Drug and alcohol abuse leads to deterioration of health. They reduce the immunity of the body to fight diseases. Drug addicts with HIV are less likely to respond to medical treatment. Also, people with drug or alcohol addiction are more likely to skip their medication which may lead to treatment failure and early death.
Due to all these factors, it can safely be said that substance abuse treatment can go a long way when it comes to stopping the spread of HIV virus. Providing professional treatment to drug addicts will reduce their chances of indulging in risky behavior. Timely treatment will help an individual overcome his drug addiction and live a normal and healthy life. More information about alcohol and drug treatment is available at http://www.inspiremalibu.com.
At the same time, it’s important to generate awareness among people. They should be made aware of the dangers posed by drug addiction and how it can make them more vulnerable to deadly viruses such as HIV. Motivating drug addicts to seek professional treatment will prove to be immensely helpful.