Persons Who Inject Drugs (PWID)

Injection drug use is a well-known route of transmission of blood-borne infections, particularly HIV, hepatitis B and C, and bacteria that cause heart infections (endocarditis).External Use of illicit drugs is also associated with increased rates of TB and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This web site provides materials and resources to assist researchers, policymakers, and clinical and program providers who work with persons who inject drugs (PWID), their sex partners and families. This site does not address issues related to the use of cannabinoids,External alcoholExternal, or tobaccoExternal.

Data and Statistics
Hepatitis C and opioid injection rose dramatically in younger Americans from 2004 through 2014

Hepatitis C and Opioid Injection Rose Dramatically in Younger Americans From 2004 to 2014

  • Among people aged 18 to 29, HCV increased by 400% and admission for opioid injection by 622%
  • Among people aged 30 to 39, HCV increased by 325% and admission for opioid injection by 83%

Trends in Hepatitis C and Opioid Injection among 18 to 29 Year Olds and 30 to 39 Year Olds, United States 2004 to 2014
Demographic Group Infection Rate or Percent Admissions 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Among 18 to 29 Year Olds HCV Rate (cases per 100,000) 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 1.1 1.6 1.8 2.0
Percent of drug treatment admissions reporting injections of any opioid 3.76 11.73 12.33 12.62 13.82 15.65 17.24 19.33 21.46 24.4 27.13
Among 30 to 39 Year Olds HCV Rate (cases per 100,000) 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7
Percent of drug treatment admissions reporting injections of any opioid 12.29 10.89 11.23 11.34 11.95 13.07 13.98 15.71 17.32 19.76 22.46

Assistance for Persons Who Use Drugs
Pills spelling out the word HELP

Call SAMHSA’s Referral Helpline 24/7 at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) or visit SAMHSA Find Help & TreatmentExternal to find services near you for:

  • Substance Abuse and/or Mental Health Treatment Facility Locator
  • Buprenorphine Physicians & Treatment Program
  • Opioid Treatment

Guidance and Interventions

Page last reviewed: July 19, 2018