It’s no secret that the use of certain intravenous drugs can make a person more susceptible to HIV, as well as other serious conditions, such as hepatitis. It might surprise you to learn, however, that it’s not just intravenous drugs that up the risk of contracting HIV. In fact, recent studies have shown that the use of cocaine can actually increase one’s risk of contracting HIV and for a variety of reasons.
First, a study conducted by UCLA researchers and published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology found that cocaine affects cells, known as CD4 T cells, that are resistant to HIV, causing them to lose their resistant quality and thus making the person in question more susceptible to contracting HIV. To make matters worse, not only does cocaine usage cause the cells to become nonresistant to HIV, but it also increases the number of nonresistant cells in the body, further increasing the risk.
Fortunately, in today’s world, much more is known about HIV and how to prevent it than was known when the virus was first discovered. Because of this, most people who exercise care and caution can greatly reduce their risk of contracting HIV. Unfortunately, however, there is no way to lessen the risks associated with cocaine usage.
Cocaine is a serious drug, one that carries with it serious consequences. Some people will even die the very first time they try cocaine, making it something you don’t want to play around with. Some of the possible effects of cocaine usage include:
- Heart problems
- Violent or aggressive behavior
- Lung damage
- Breathing problems
- Stomach and intestinal perforation
- Kidney damage or failure
- Erectile dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- Brain damage
- Destruction of the nasal tissues
- Tooth decay
Cocaine and Risky Sexual Behavior
It is also important to keep in mind that cocaine usage can lead to impaired reasoning, which in turn often leads to risky sexual behavior, including unprotected sex. Unprotected sex can, of course, lead to HIV infection, which a cocaine user may already be more susceptible to. For this reason, it is virtually impossible to escape the risk of HIV while using cocaine, and, even if one doesn’t contract HIV, the other risks and consequences of cocaine usage will still be there.
The only way to completely escape these risks and complications is to stop using cocaine – something that is easier said than done for without the assistance of professional medical and psychotherapeutic care. Contact us at Alta Mira at the phone number listed above today and get the information you need to help your loved one avoid the risks of active addiction.