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From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |

Public Health and Injection Drug Use FREE

JAMA. 2001;285(21):2706. doi:10.1001/jama.285.21.2706.
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MMWR. 2001;50:377

This issue of MMWR focuses on injection drug use and highlights ways that state and local health departments monitor injection drug use-related health issues and develop interventions to prevent substance abuse and infections among injection drug users (IDUs). Substance abuse and addiction are major underlying causes of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States.1 The risks increase when illicit substances are injected, which contributes to multiple health and social problems for IDUs, including transmission of bloodborne infections (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] and hepatitis B and C infections) through sharing unsterile drug injection equipment and practicing unsafe sex.2 In the United States, approximately one third of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome cases3 and one half of new hepatitis C cases4 are associated with injection drug use. Fatal drug overdoses also contribute to death among IDUs.5 Although the number of persons who inject illicit drugs (primarily heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine) is not available, approximately one million persons in the United States are active IDUs.6

REFERENCES

McGinnis  JMFoege  WH Mortality and morbidity attributable to use of addictive substances in the United States. Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians. 1999;111109- 18
Link to Article
Cherubin  CESapira  JD The medical complications of drug addiction and the medical assessment of the intravenous drug user: 25 years later. Ann Intern Med. 1993;1191017- 28
Link to Article
CDC, HIV/AIDS surveillance report, 2000.  Atlanta, Georgia US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC2000;12
Alter  MJMoyer  LA The importance of preventing hepatitis C virus infection among injection drug users in the United States. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 1998;18 ((suppl 1)) S6- S10
Link to Article
CDC, Unintentional opiate overdose deaths—King County, Washington, 1990-1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2000;49636- 40
Gibbs  DAHamill  DNMagruder-Habib  K Populations at increased risk of HIV infection: current knowledge and limitations. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 1991;4881- 9
Link to Article

Figures

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References

McGinnis  JMFoege  WH Mortality and morbidity attributable to use of addictive substances in the United States. Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians. 1999;111109- 18
Link to Article
Cherubin  CESapira  JD The medical complications of drug addiction and the medical assessment of the intravenous drug user: 25 years later. Ann Intern Med. 1993;1191017- 28
Link to Article
CDC, HIV/AIDS surveillance report, 2000.  Atlanta, Georgia US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC2000;12
Alter  MJMoyer  LA The importance of preventing hepatitis C virus infection among injection drug users in the United States. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 1998;18 ((suppl 1)) S6- S10
Link to Article
CDC, Unintentional opiate overdose deaths—King County, Washington, 1990-1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2000;49636- 40
Gibbs  DAHamill  DNMagruder-Habib  K Populations at increased risk of HIV infection: current knowledge and limitations. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 1991;4881- 9
Link to Article
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