Prescription Painkiller Abuse Fuels Hepatitis C Infections: CDC Report

Prescription painkiller abuse is largely to blame for a big increase in the rate of hepatitis C among young people in rural areas of four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Acute hepatitis C infections more than tripled from 2007 to 2012 among young people in rural areas in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. About 73 percent of those hepatitis C patients said they injected drugs, USA Today reports. Injecting drugs can spread the hepatitis C virus when people share needles.

“We’re in the midst of a national epidemic of hepatitis C,” said John Ward, Director of Viral Hepatitis Prevention at the CDC. More than 20,000 Americans die from hepatitis C a year, which is more than the number who die from AIDS, Ward said. He added, “The CDC views hepatitis C as an urgent public health problem.”

Full story of prescription drug abuse raises hepatitis C infection at drugfree.org

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.