Author(s): Contoreggi C, Rexroad VE, Lange WR
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Abstract The diagnosis and management of infectious complications associated with injection drug use (IDU) are among some of the more challenging aspects of working with substance abusing populations. As the population of injection drug users age, we expect the number and severity of these complications to increase. Commonly seen infections, such as bacterial endocarditis and bacterial infections of bones, joints, and soft tissue, are now frequently complicated by concurrent immunodeficiency. Parenterally and sexually transmitted viral hepatitis is responsible for significant IDU morbidity and mortality. The human leukemia/lymphoma virus types I and II are increasing in prevalence in the IDU with uncertain long-term clinical effects. Immune dysfunction has been described in the IDU for decades, but the impact of host immune compromise on the transmission and the course of HIV-1 has yet to be fully appreciated. The integration of the treatment of substance abuse and its concurrent psychiatric disorders with the management of infectious complications, including immunodeficiency, promises to improve patient compliance with possible savings of overall medical costs.
This article was published in J Subst Abuse Treat
and referenced in Journal of Health Education Research & Development