Opioid abuse is linked to higher rates of hepatitis C infections.
Like many states, Alaska is struggling under the burden of opioid abuse.
Prescription painkillers and heroin accounted for 74 percent of Alaska’s drug overdose deaths last year.
Transmission of blood-born viruses like hepatitis C, which can cause liver scarring, cancer, and death, is exploding, increasing in some rural areas by 490 percent in just the last few years. One calculation estimated that to treat all the Alaskans who contracted hepatitis C from injecting drugs in 2015 would cost $90 million.
|Read Full Article: Hepatitis C Epidemic Threatens Alaska’s Opioid Addicts : Shots – Health News : NPR|