Hepatitis C Cases Are on the Rise with the Opioid Epidemic

The chances of you reading this article and having known somebody close or even having known a friend of somebody close that

Sep 12

The chances of you reading this article and having known somebody close or even having known a friend of somebody close that has overdosed from some form of opiates- is more than likely. The drug epidemic in this country is an ever growing problem that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, but this “war on drugs” is just one of the problems addicts and alcoholics are now dealing with on a daily basis.

Addiction and alcoholic thinking have been a growing problem of epic proportions for the last few years, especially in regards to the opioids and the epidemic that comes with it. What most did not expect was a wild outbreak of Hepatitis C to create a shadow epidemic attached to the ever threatening opioid issue.

This is apparently called a syndemic. This is an epidemic of utter and mass proportion that carries another one attached to it. Ironically, they each feed into each other and one cannot be stopped without addressing the other. Aye aye aye- the things alcoholic thinking will get us into. If addiction wasn’t heavy enough in itself, now those stuck in the throes of addiction have to be ever wearier of hepatitis c and those affected.

Up the ‘Ante’ for Disease

When one door closes, another one often opens- that’s how the saying has always gone at least. Then we have situations in life where one door opens and then another one opens. In this dreaded scenario, we’re dealing with multiple epidemics free flowing through everybody’s lives while we’re desperately trying to find a solution. Of course, in the eyes of most- the bigger issue here is the chaos that being chemically dependent brings along. Most would not be finding themselves at risk of contracting hepatitis C if it wasn’t for the risky behaviors that are associated with addiction and alcoholism.

Opioids happen to be one of the biggest problems out there because of doctors over prescribing their patients. The thing about opiates is that they for one are not a “cure all” narcotic. Prescription opioids are painkillers generally used to treat symptoms or alleviate pain of some sort, but they will not fix the ongoing problem behind the scenes. Heroin is just a whole other story in itself.  

One way or another, the path of progression for those afflicted with alcoholic thinking increases over time no matter what. Not all, but most addicted to opioid during this chemically ugly time will progress to using needles. They may say otherwise and every inch of them may believe it, but the obsession that follows with the first epidemic is undeniable. Eventually, most hardcore opiate users will turn to a syringe at some point during their addicted career.


The DEA has made several minor attempts throughout the years to try and contain the outbreak of opioid abuse. 2016 now holds the record for the most overdoses in one year with a 33% increase in overdose deaths in some regions like Ohio. Ironically, in the most recent years, opiate prescriptions have been written less and less. The CDC dropped new laws with the guidelines for medical personnel and how they have to go about prescribing such pain killing medications.

For some, this has just been a minor hiccup in the game of addiction. However with hepatitis c on stage now, Ohio is just one of the many states dealing with such a syndemic with many others fighting the battle with limited media attention. A few names to join Ohio in this addiction driven plague are:  

  • North Carolina
  • Kansas
  • Arkansas
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Michigan

These are just a few coincidently seeing a reported increase in the bloodborne, liver attacking disease of hepatitis C. Yet, this is more than mere coincidence. The reported rise in hepatitis c outbreaks comes from the pervasive sharing of syringes due to shortage- or in some cases ill prepared laziness.

two people sharing a syringe

Safer Ways to Get High?

At the end of the day, to the dismay of many, there are only so many steps that can be taken to limit the dangers that opioids, hepatitis c, and the chemically proclaimed epidemic provide us. With nearly 4 million Americans diagnosed with hepatitis c and even larger amount of addicts and alcoholics across the nation, the question remains: What can we do?

No epidemic is concrete and set in stone. Everything in this world is reversible- in one perspective or another. Death is the only thing that cannot be come back from. With that being said, the good news is that the intensifying number of deaths and hepatitis c outbreaks circulating the United States is starting to catch the attention of state legislation and those who can make a difference with certain funds. Since 2015, thirteen states including Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Kentucky have enacted clean syringe exchange programs to fight the hepatitis part of the epidemic.

Drugs are becoming a normal way of life now, and that’s including the illegal or prescribed narcotics. However you look at it, addiction and alcoholism will find a way into specific individual’s lives no matter how much is implemented. With Michigan reporting numbers like 473% increase in hepatitis c cases since 2015, SOMETHING must be done. It seems now that the goal to stop addiction in its tracks has become even more prevalent while the race to prevent more hepatitis c outbreaks lives and breathes. In the mean while, it imperative to remember opiates will steal your soul and wise to avoid them at all costs.

Fight the Good Fight

Addiction is a complex disease that will call upon all other diseases and vices to help take out its host. The unmanageability and powerlessness will get old and the path will split into two: life or death. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need a drug and alcohol treatment center, please call1-866-663-3030 or visit www.pasadenarecoverycenter.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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