Cocaine users 'risk getting Hep C'

By Rightnow289 · Jun 11, 2009 · ·
  1. Rightnow289
    People who snort drugs like cocaine are putting themselves at risk of contracting Hepatitis C, health charities are warning.

    Around 10,000 people get the virus every year in the UK, but many don't know they have it.
    You can only contract Hepatitis C if your blood comes into contact with infected blood but, if left untreated, it can potentially be fatal.
    People who share needles to take heroin or steroids are at the biggest risk.
    But studies have shown it is also possible to get Hepatitis C if you share bank notes or straws when snorting drugs.
    Tom, not his real name, found out he had Hepatitis C in a blood test and reckons he got it taking drugs.
    "I got into snorting drugs when I was a university student," he said.
    "I've never injected drugs. My main exposure's been through snorting cocaine."
    Drugs that are inhaled like cocaine are corrosive and can make the inside of your nose bleed.
    If that happens, tiny spots of blood can fall onto the note you are using and if that's used by someone else, your blood can travel up their nose and into their bloodstream.

    Liver infection
    Charles Gore is from The Hepatitis C Trust. He says it's dangerous snorting drugs through a shared bank note or straw.
    "If you are doing it and have a bleeding nose and it bleeds onto a note and you then pass it to somebody else, who's then going to snort through it to get the cocaine into their bloodstream, unfortunately they're likely to get your blood in there too, with the infection."
    Hepatitis C attacks the liver. Early symptoms are normally mild, like tiredness and feeling low, but long term it can cause cancer, organ failure and even death.
    It's thought the chances of getting the virus are higher if you're injecting drugs, but cocaine use in Britain has doubled in the last 10 years.
    That's got some health experts like Charles Gore worried: "People with liver disease only tend to get the really bad obvious symptoms when it's too late. If you've ever snorted drugs, go get a test."
    Hepatitis C can be treated, but the medication is strong and involves injections.
    Tom's just starting his: "My treatment will last for 28 weeks. It's made up of one injection once a week into my stomach and a morning and nightly dose of tablets".

    By Briar Burley
    Newsbeat reporter

    Source -

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  1. cannabis-sam
    That's quite worrying for SWIM maybe he should go and get tested, although he rarely uses cocaine, he does snort ketamine and MDMA so he thinks he might go and get checked out.
  2. Rightnow289
    There is always that chance if SWIY have used notes. Not sure how long the virus stays on notes but if SWIY have a small cut on the inside of nose is very easy to get infected if Hep C is on the note.
  3. Don't fear the Reaper
    SWIM never used C, doesn't plan to, but SWIM would think this could be easily avoidable by using newly printed bank notes?
  4. Rightnow289
    Yeah but how many times do you get brand new notes? Not many times
  5. cannabis-sam
    Well SWIM went and bought himself a personal "snorty" thanks to this article he's not risking it.
  6. Rightnow289
    Good to hear SWIYc-s. better safe than sorry :thumbsup:
  7. bubbly nubs
    Is this article really to be trusted. 90% of the time the news articles are doubted. How exaggerated is this risk?
    That is surely over the top?
  8. cannabis-sam
    Even if risks are overstated I'm in no doubt it is a risk and if SWIC-S can protect himself for the sake of a couple of quid then surely it's worth it.
  9. Rightnow289
    Maybe not. Hepatitis C is one of the most easily transmittable diseases unfortunately. Hepatitis lives a lot longer on surfaces than others like HIV too.
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