Addressing the Infectious Disease Consequences of the U.S. Opioid Crisis

Addressing the infectious disease consequences of the U.S. opioid crisis. CDC's work improves health and saves money.
Addressing the infectious disease consequences of the U.S. opioid crisis. CDC's work improves health and saves money. Infographic continued

ADDRESSING THE INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONSEQUENCES OF THE U.S. OPIOID CRISIS: CDC’S WORK IMPROVES HEALTH AND SAVES MONEY

Viral hepatitis is increasing at concerning rates: between 2010-2016, new hepatitis C infections increased 249%

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1 of every 10 new HIV infections is among people who inject drugs

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The rate of infants born to hepatitis C-infected mothers increased by 39% nationally in one year alone (2015-2016), primarily due to the nation’s opioid crisis

People who inject drugs are at elevated risk for unsafe sexual practices, such as having sex without a condom, having sex partners who are injection drug users, or engaging in sex work. Such high-risk sex behavior puts injectable drug users at elevated risk for acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and for transmitting an STD to their sexual network

$100 MILLION IN MEDICAL COSTS

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the result of a 2015 outbreak of diseases linked to opioid use in Indiana

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  • 235 people were diagnosed with HIV
  • greater than 90% were co-infected with hepatitis C

INJECTION DRUG USE, FUELED BY THE U.S. OPIOID CRISIS, IS CAUSING A DRAMATIC RISE IN VIRAL HEPATITIS INFECTIONS

How CDC is Responding to Increases in Viral Hepatitis Among People Who Inject Drugs

  • CDC identified 44 states, one territory, and one tribal nation with areas either experiencing or at-risk of a hepatitis C or HIV outbreak due to injection drug use.
  • CDC provides technical assistance on the most effective strategies for engaging people who inject drugs into treatment for drug use and infectious diseases
  • CDC invests in efforts that combine public health surveillance and cutting-edge analyses to identify transmission clusters of viral hepatitis and HIV and respond to outbreaks
  • CDC promotes school-based primary prevention programs that include education, connection to screening and services, positive youth development, and parent and community engagement

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

 

ADDRESSING THE INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONSEQUENCES OF THE U.S. OPIOID CRISIS: CDC’S WORK IMPROVES HEALTH AND SAVES MONEY

PREVENTING HIV AND VIRAL HEPATITIS AMONG PEOPLE WHO INJECT DRUGS

Comprehensive, community-based prevention services are vital to prevent infections among people who inject drugs. These services:

[right arrow icon] Support drug treatment and recovery, including medication-assisted therapy, which can help people stop injecting

[right arrow icon] Provide a range of services to reduce transmission of viral hepatitis and HIV—including testing, hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccination, linkage to care and treatment, and access to sterile syringes and injection equipment

SYRINGE SERVICES PROGRAMS KEEP AMERICANS SAFE

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New users of syringe services programs were 5 times as likely to enter drug treatment than those who never used the program

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When used in combination with medication-assisted therapies to help people stop injecting drugs, syringe services programs can lead to a 70% decrease in hepatitis C transmission

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1 in 3 officers may be stuck with a needle during their career; SSPs reduce needlestick injuries by providing proper disposal

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

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Page last reviewed: March 18, 2019