Publication date: Jun 11, 2019
But another type of infection linked to drug use is also on the rise: infective endocarditis.
The drug use-associated (DUA) infectious diseases are on the rise across a range of disorders.
-The rise in endocarditis is making it clear that overdoses are not the only public health concern related to drug use,” said Asher Schranz, MD.
-Now, the spike in infectious diseases related to injection drug use is due to a surge in illicit Fentanyl analogs, alone and mixed with other drugs-in particular, methamphetamine. “
In 2018, Springer served on the planning committee for a workshop on integrating treatment for opioid use disorder and infectious diseases.
Many patients with DUA IE have other infections that also require treatment.
-If patients’ underlying opioid use disorder is not identified, and thus not treated, then they are often unable to get or complete effective treatment for their infections.
Surgeons may not operate on a patient who is unable to stop using drugs due to untreated addiction, or patients may be readmitted multiple times for poorly or untreated infections,” Springer added.
Experts agree that when a person is hospitalized due to DUA IE, or any other infection related to the intravenous intake of any drug, it is an opportunity to intervene and help reduce further harms.
The increasing number of patients with drug use-associated infective endocarditis is just another visible manifestation of the growing problem of DUA infections.
-Integrating treatment for opioid use disorder and infectious diseases is critical to ending these coalescing epidemics,” said Springer.
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