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The risks associated with drug use vary depending on the drug used

The risks associated with drug use vary depending on the drug you use; one of the biggest risks with cannabis is brain damage, for ecstasy one risk is cardiac arrest, and with cocaine risks include stroke.  But in addition to the drug being taken, the risks also vary depending on the method used to take them, with snorting drugs obviously having an effect on nasal cavities, but often the biggest risk is through injection of drugs, with high risk of contraction serious diseases, including hepatitis and HIV.

Researchers have found that access to a rehab center can effectively reduce the risk of infections contracted via needles, as does needle exchange programmes (Milloy et al., 2010).  Unfortunately they have also found that difficulty in finding access to treatment facilities can actually increase the risk of HIV and other diseases transferred via needle use.

These findings help highlight how important it is for rehab programmes to be accessible to all who need them, and that encouraging people to seek help or even access safe needles, can help keep them safe from certain diseases.  Keeping people safe from HIV or other illnesses is important not only to reduce death rates in itself, but the longer an individual is alive, the better the chances that they will eventually seek help for their addiction and make the decision to change their life for the better. 



Milloy et al.  (2012).  Inability to access addiction treatment and risk of HIV infection among injection drug users recruited from a supervised injection facility.  Journal of Public Health, 32, 342-349.

Published by on 25/01/2020.

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