Why is it difficult to treat IV drug users for medical conditions?

Substance abuse and the use of intravenous drugs in the United States has increased dramatically. A major limitation of current medical care for people with injection drug use (IDU) is that appropriate treatment for addiction is very difficult to come by due to a lack of providers or facilities or the lack of insurance or other means to pay for the scarce resources that may be available.

The current fractured structure and silos between acute and chronic health care and social services leads to an inability to bridge the “treatment gap” between the urgent symptoms of a disease and its underlying cause. Addiction therapy should ideally be tied to related medical treatment in order to achieve optimal results. Until addiction therapy is recognized as a critical component of care for people with IDU, long-term results in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions are unlikely to improve.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.