A connection between drug use and high syphilis rates in the United States was established using a recent report released with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sarah Kidd, lead author in the report, noticed that two major medical concerns, namely addiction and syphilis, have also been colliding collectively.
The report displayed appreciable link between drug use and cases of syphilis in heterosexual individuals. As per the report, the application of heroin, methamphetamine, along with other injection drugs because of the aforementioned group almost doubled from 2013 to 2017.
The report however, didn’t display the same increase in drug use in gay men affected by syphilis. According to the study, the results in the study indicated that risky sexual behaviors associated with substance abuse may be one in the key driving factors for this boost in syphilis one of the heterosexual population.
People using drugs very likely to engage in unsafe sexual activities
According to experts, people abusing drugs are very likely to engage in unsafe sexual activities, thereby driving them to more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Syphilis significantly increased among heterosexuals especially in the ‘crack cocaine epidemic’ prevalent through the 1980s and 1990s. It was observed that throughout this particular time frame, the effective use of drugs was linked with the higher transmission rates of syphilis.
According to Patricia Kissinger, professor epidemiology with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, it’s quite common tendency among people abusing drugs to enjoy unprotected sex, exchange sex rather than money or drugs, and possess multiple sex partners. All these are regarded as significant risk factors leading to 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 case there is women patients between 2013 and 2017. While syphilis was almost eradicated, lately, the best resurgence on the disease was reported in California, Louisiana, and Nevada. Syphilis can usually be treated with antibiotics, in case left untreated, it can organ damage and in many cases death sometimes. In women, congenital syphilis typically takes place when a mother transmits the illness to her baby, producing cases of premature birth and newborn fatalities.
Analyzing the syphilis cases that occurred between 2013 and 2017, they discovered that methamphetamine abuse was the greatest contributor. The report stated more than one-third of girls and a quarter of heterosexual men experiencing syphilis were considered to be abusing methamphetamine in the last year. The California Department of Public Health reported that methamphetamine use by people struggling with syphilis, doubled in the event of heterosexual women and men between 2013 and 2017.
Why would it be difficult to treat sexually transmitted infections?
Owing for the overlapping installments of substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it gets challenging to identify and treat people being affected by syphilis. That is because, typically, people using medicine is less likely to check out a doctor or report their sexual activities or partners.
Likewise, expecting mothers may stay away from seeking prenatal care and obtain themselves tested for syphilis due to concerns for instance their gynecologists reporting their abusing drugs. To combat this matter, the CDC urges to come up with more collaboration between programs treating drug abuse and programs addressing STIs.
Fresno County reported highest rate of congenital syphilis
According towards the report, the biggest rate of congenital syphilis was reported in Fresno County in California. The county’s community health division manager, Joe Prado, asserted the California Health Department analyzed around 25 congenital syphilis cases in 2017 and in excess of two-thirds of the women were abusing drugs.
To address this problem, the united states took proactive measures including offering STD testing for patients getting admitted into inpatient drug treatment centers. Patients returning for 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 on an increased collaboration between STD clinics and drug treatment providers, it really is not always that straightforward, website traffic two entities are yet to worked together previously. Usually both these units often focus only on his or her relevant specialties and frequently fail to screen people for associated ailments like syphilis and other forms of STIs or for drug use.
According to Jeffrey Kalusner, professor of medication and public health with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), so as to fight ever rising rates of syphilis more resources are expected. He added that though policies could be implemented towards syphilis testing, these policies should be accompanied with appropriate resources.
Seeking treatment for substance abuse
Drug abuse is often connected with the continuing development of physical ailments like hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), syphilis as well as other STDs. These infections might be severe and lead to rapid deterioration of all around health. The best way to stop the contraction of those diseases should be to avoid taking drugs or if addicted, to find addiction treatment help with the earliest.
The alcohol and drugs rehab centers of Hillside Mission offer comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans for drug abuse. Whether selecting an inpatient, outpatient, or even a residential plan, the detox process at Hillside Mission was created to minimize the patient’s discomfort and lead to a shorter treatment cycle.