In the United States, the problem of drug dependence and addiction is serious—a fact that holds true for Pleasantville, New Jersey. Located in Atlantic County, Pleasantville, like countless other cities and towns spanning the country, is home to a large number of drug users, many of them opioid addicts.
In fact, of the 4,705 Atlantic County residents who were admitted to substance abuse treatment programs in 2016, 55% used heroin as their primary drug of choice with another 8% using other opiates.1 This means that approximately 2,953 Atlantic County residents were admitted for treatment concerning opioid addictions in 2016.1 In Pleasantville itself, 191 of the 308 people admitted into treatment programs in 2016 were addicted to opioids.1
With opioid dependence and addiction come a variety of legal, social, mental, and medical concerns, one of which is the danger of intravenous drug use. Of those Atlantic County residents admitted to substance abuse treatment programs in 2016, 49% were intravenous drug users, meaning the drug is injected directly into the vein.1 This can lead to other serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.
One potential complication from intravenous drug use is the contraction of HIV. When abusing substances, a person’s judgment and decision-making skills are severely impaired, leading to the possibility of inadvertently contracting HIV through unprotected sex and other risky behaviors. Additionally, injection drug use and needle sharing accounts for 10% of HIV cases annually, as the disease can be passed through the bodily fluids exchanged when sharing a needle. This is made even more likely due to the fact that 1 in 6 people with HIV do not know they are infected.2
On top of the risk of HIV, those who engage in intravenous drug use leave themselves open to catching other diseases, such as viral hepatitis, since this infectious disease can be spread in the same manner that HIV can. Co-infection with hepatitis C occurs in up to a quarter of the cases of HIV in America. For those who engage in intravenous drug use, that rate is significantly higher at 80%. Since hepatitis C is often asymptomatic, it can cause serious damage to the liver before it is treated.2
If you or a loved one are struggling with intravenous drug use in Pleasantville, New Jersey and require help to prevent dangerous complications, browse our directory to find a substance abuse program that suits your needs.
- Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. (2017). New Jersey Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Substance Abuse Overview 2016.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017). HIV, AIDS, and Viral Hepatitis.