Rural areas hit hard by injection drug abuse are struggling to deal with the fast-growing problem, according to The Wall Street Journal. IV drug abuse is bringing large increases in HIV and hepatitis C to these communities.
Australian researchers have released the first-ever report on worldwide addiction statistics. They found about 240 million people around the world are dependent on alcohol, more than a billion people smoke, and about 15 million people use injection drugs, such as heroin.
Congress appears unlikely to overturn a ban on using federal money for needle exchanges, despite a severe outbreak of HIV and hepatitis due to increased heroin use in several states, The New York Times reports.
Prescription painkiller abuse is largely to blame for a big increase in the rate of hepatitis C among young people in rural areas of four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kentucky legislators are considering adopting a needle-exchange program, in an effort to reduce the spread of hepatitis C among injection drug users. The nearby city of Portsmouth, Ohio, has had some success with a similar program, USA Today reports.
Health officials in Indiana say a fast-spreading outbreak of HIV in Indiana is largely due to injection drug abuse of the prescription painkiller Opana. The powerful drug is more potent, per milligram, than OxyContin.