Wednesday, September 27, 2017

People enrolled in harm-reduction program five times more likely to go into recovery

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"We're seeing infection hotspots," Talal said, noting that this is partly a result of the opioid epidemic, particularly where needle exchange programs, for example, are not available.

Regardless of active drug use or Opioid agonist therapy (OAT), patients who received DAA therapy at an urban primary care clinic achieved high HCV cure rates. We found no clinical evidence to justify restricting access to HCV treatment for patients actively using drugs and/or receiving OAT.

Opioid epidemic causing rise in hepatitis C infections and other serious illnesses
Many Americans now know that, over the past decade, opioid addiction and deaths from opioid overdose in the U.S. have skyrocketed.

‘Our Compassion Is Being Challenged’: A West Virginia Doctor’s War Against Opioids
By Tom Kutsch
09/27/2017 08:41 am ET
Brumage, executive director and health officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, runs a harm-reduction program that includes overseeing a clean needle exchange for opioid users. It’s powered not with federal or state dollars, but with donations, grants and volunteers. In just over two years, it has grown as large as a similar program run by the city of Baltimore after 20 years ― serving some 3,700 patients. People enrolled in a harm-reduction program are five times more likely to go into recovery than if they’re not a part of it, he said...
Can you briefly describe the extent of the problem that you’re up against with the opioid crisis?
As you really peel back the onion, it’s not an epidemic. It’s an epidemic of epidemics, because you have everything from overdose deaths to the hepatitis C rate, which is now the No. 1 infectious killer in America. You have children who have been abandoned because their parents are using drugs. You have needles which are in public spaces, which is an environmental hazard. And just so many other aspects of this. This is a very, very complex public health emergency. And I’m not quite certain that most Americans or even most policymakers have grappled with the true complexities of where we are on a day-to-day basis.
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