Hepatitis C cases surge as drug addicts switch to injectors
29: Umar (name changed), 19, disclosed
the secret of heroin addiction to his parents when he puked repeatedly and
developed a deathly pale yellow color in his eyes.
a serology test (the study of blood and other fluids from the body), at the
drug de-addiction center at the Department of Psychiatry, SMHS Hospital, the
teenager was diagnosed with Hepatitis C.
“I got hooked to
heroine in class 12. I used to initially inhale the vapors from heating the
solution of heroin. Later on, I took to injections to get a high of greater
intensity. I would do this by sharing the needles among my friends,” he said.
Little did he
know the new form of injectable addiction would lead him to a deadly Hepatitis
30-year-old Rashid (name-changed), a heroin injector, who was married for last
one and half year, was rushed to the hospital last week when he retained water
in his abdomen.
It was there,
when the test reports showed that he suffered from Hepatitis C.
Kashmir has seen
a rise in the cases of drug addiction especially that of heroin abuse in the
past few years.
trend is shifting. From heroin chasers to heroin injectors, the latter is
showing predominance, resulting in diseases like Hepatitis C through the shared
Hepatitis C is a
viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious
liver damage. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contaminated blood.
by drug de-addiction center, Department of Psychiatry SMHS Hospital, reveal
that the total number of drug abusers reported with Hepatitis C in 2019 was 31.
year alone, seven patients are already confirmed with Hepatitis C even as
January is yet to end. This number is double the average of three patients per
month last year.
Dr. Yasir Rather,
psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS),
Srinagar said the number of patients at drug de-addiction center suffering from
hepatitis C is increasing at an alarming level.
“They acquire the
disease after using infected syringes while injecting drugs. This makes them
prone to infections like Hepatitis C,” he said.
The doctor noted
that the viral infection can cause significant complications, such as, liver
cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.