A connection between drug use and high syphilis rates in the United States was established by way of a recent report released with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sarah Kidd, lead author with the report, noticed that two major health concerns, namely addiction and syphilis, have also been colliding together.
The report displayed vital between drug use and cases of syphilis in heterosexual individuals. As per the report, use of heroin, methamphetamine, as well as other injection drugs from the aforementioned group almost doubled from 2013 to 2017.
The report however, didn’t display a comparable increase in drug use in gay men being affected by syphilis. According to they, the results on the study indicated that risky sexual behaviors associated with abusing drugs may be one in the key driving factors for this surge in syphilis one of many heterosexual population.
People using drugs more prone to engage in unsafe sexual activities
According to experts, people abusing drugs are more prone to engage in unsafe sexual activities, thereby causing them to more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Syphilis significantly increased among heterosexuals especially throughout the ‘crack cocaine epidemic’ prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s. It was observed that throughout this particular time frame, using drugs was linked with the higher transmission rates of syphilis.
According to Patricia Kissinger, professor epidemiology for the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, it’s quite common tendency among people abusing drugs to experience unprotected sex, exchange sex instead of money or drugs, and have absolutely multiple sex partners. All these are deemed as significant risk factors causing the spread in the disease.
Syphilis rates are setting new records
At the national level, the occurrences of syphilis jumped by around 73 percent with an overall level and 156 percent in the case of women patients between 2013 and 2017. While syphilis was almost eradicated, recently, the best resurgence from the disease was reported in California, Louisiana, and Nevada. Syphilis is treatable with antibiotics, in case left untreated, there may be organ damage and also death in some instances. In women, congenital syphilis typically develops when a mother transmits the ailment to her developing fetus, bringing about cases of premature birth and newborn fatalities.
Analyzing the syphilis cases that occurred between 2013 and 2017, the study discovered that methamphetamine abuse was the most significant contributor. The report says more than one-third of ladies and a quarter of heterosexual men affected by syphilis were considered to be abusing methamphetamine in the past year. The California Department of Public Health reported that methamphetamine use by people affected by syphilis, doubled regarding heterosexual individuals between 2013 and 2017.
Why could it be difficult to treat sexually transmitted infections?
Owing for the overlapping cases of substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it will become challenging to identify and treat people being affected by syphilis. That is because, typically, people using prescription medication is less likely to travel to a doctor or report their sexual activities or partners.
Likewise, expectant mothers may keep from seeking prenatal care and find themselves tested for syphilis on account of concerns for instance their gynecologists reporting their drug use. To combat this challenge, the CDC urges to generate more collaboration between programs treating abusing drugs and programs addressing STIs.
Fresno County reported highest rate of congenital syphilis
According on the report, the biggest rate of congenital syphilis was reported in Fresno County in California. The county’s community health division manager, Joe Prado, declared the California Health Department analyzed around 25 congenital syphilis cases in 2017 and a lot more than two-thirds of those women were abusing drugs.
To address this concern, america took proactive measures including offering STD testing for patients getting admitted into inpatient drug treatment centers. Patients wanting reports were provided incentives including gift cards. Apart from this, for patients undergoing drug treatment, the county offered a care package comprising of contraceptives and education materials about STIs.
While it really is significant a great increased collaboration between STD clinics and drug treatment providers, it can be not always that straightforward, as these two entities haven’t worked together previously. Usually both these units are likely to focus only for their relevant specialties and sometimes fail to screen people for associated ailments like syphilis or another forms of STIs or for abusing drugs.
According to Jeffrey Kalusner, professor of drugs and public health in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to be able to fight increasing rates of syphilis more resources are required. He added that though policies could be implemented towards syphilis testing, these policies must be accompanied with appropriate resources.
Seeking treatment for substance abuse
Drug abuse is often regarding the continuing development of physical ailments like hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), syphilis as well as other STDs. These infections may be severe and bring about rapid deterioration of general health. The best way to stay away from the contraction of those diseases is always to avoid taking drugs or if addicted, to look for addiction treatment help with the earliest.
The alcohol and drugs detox centers of Hillside Mission offer comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for abusing drugs. Whether selecting an inpatient, outpatient, or maybe a residential plan, the detox process at Hillside Mission was created to minimize the patient’s discomfort and bring about a shorter treatment cycle.