Addiction and Health Issues
Many health issues, such as infections, heart and liver disease, stroke and chronic pain are linked to alcoholism and drug addiction. The alcohol and drug addiction may cause the health issue, make the health issue worse or impair judgment in situations that could lead to contracting an infection, such as Hepatitis C or HIV. Addiction treatment for people with these health issues must be multidisciplinary and done in a setting where all healthcare providers are working as a team.
HIV or AIDS
HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS. Although there have been great advances in suppressing the virus, having HIV requires chronic, intensive treatment and there is no cure. Learn how those with addiction have a higher rate of HIV infection and a lower rate of successful suppressive treatment and treatment of opportunistic infections.
Chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the healing of an injury, continues for a period of several months or longer, or occurs frequently for months on end. Physicians often prescribe opiate-based medications for chronic pain, which can lead to drug addiction or alcoholism. Find-out how those with an active addiction to alcohol or drugs do not favorably respond to medical treatment for chronic pain.
Alcoholism and Cirrhosis of the Liver
Cirrhosis is permanent liver damage caused by scar tissue. The two major causes of cirrhosis are excessive consumption of alcohol and certain forms of viral hepatitis. This section describes how alcohol and drug addiction and cirrhosis are related and offers suggestions for drug and alcohol abuse treatment for those with liver disease or cirrhosis.
Hepatitis C is a chronic liver infection caused by a virus that scars the liver, causes inflammation and prevents proper liver function. Alcoholics and drug addicts have a higher rate of infection with hepatitis C and respond poorly to treatment. There are facilities that can treat both conditions simultaneously.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Drug and alcohol abuse can damage the heart and cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and stroke. Addiction puts great strain on the heart and blood vessels and stopping drug and alcohol use can help reverse and avoid further damage.
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