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Old 02-06-2013, 10:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hepatitis C

Recently I posted on here to ask for advice about visiting my brother & said I wasn't going to go see him. Well, I changed my mind & I went to visit him in jail while I was home. He admitted he had been using crystal meth & that he can't stop. He said he is done this time & then he cried. I told him he has to go through what he is going through right now if he is ever going to get better. My heart goes out to him & it is utterly heartbreaking to see him in so much pain.

I sort of regret going but am also glad to have had a chance to talk to him because I may never get that opportunity again.

I also learned he has hepatitis c. How devastating

Any of your loved ones have hepatitis C?
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes and there is medication that will help stop the disease and in some cases get to undetectable levels.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Most prisoners say they are done with drugs.
Once released, things can change.

Your brother will continue to live his life as he sees fit to do, regardless of what you do, or not.

Hep C is not necessarily a death sentence.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My heart goes out to you.

Everything I've read and heard about meth addiction is that it's very tough to beat. But it IS possible.

Hepatitis C is another tough one... but treatable. I have a family member currently clean from drugs (including meth) after many years of abuse who is being treated for Hep C. The treatment is pretty rough ~ making the person quite sick, but their doc is working with them to figure out a tolerable and effective treatment plan.

I don't know what the "trigger" is for a person to turn their life around and fight to overcome drug addiction. I had to go no contact with my relative for my own sanity, and despaired of them ever finding a rock bottom or pulling out of the crazy whirlwind of self-destruction. The person was (still is) quite young with great potential... and lost pretty much everything during the bad years.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know much about Hep C and it would be helpful to me, and I hope to the OP, to know a bit more about it.

For example, I do not know whether it can just suddenly appear in an addict's body years or decades after drug abuse. Or whether it was there all along and had just gone undetected because he or she had not had the blood test. Is it a virus which at some point infects the addict but which might or might not make him sick one day?

Also, does a regular blood panel done for a general check-up show Hep C or does the physician have to ask specifically for that test?

Finally, if an addict does test positive for Hep C, please forgive my naivete, but what does it mean for his or her sex life? Condoms forever? All bodily fluids dangerous? Even the blood?



I have read about Hep-C but the articles were so general that I still felt too uninformed.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think Hep C might just cause flu-like symptoms when contracted, and then not show symptoms for awhile. There is a specific test for Hep C. A doctor would suggest that test if they knew someone was an IV drug user or had sex with somebody who was an IV drug user.

The person would always carry the disease, and the blood and semen would carry the virus. They would need condoms, and people would need to be careful around any of their fluids--vomit, saliva, semen, blood, etc. Hepatitis lives for a long time outside the body.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It can't be passed through casual contact--hugging, handshaking, etc.

I assume that my addicted step-daughter has Hep C. She is a heroin addict, and I doubt she has always used new needles.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My mother got Hep C from blood transfusions years ago when she was severely anemic. This was before blood was being screened and tested.

My neighbor is a nurse. I was shocked when she told me many cocaine users have Hep C from sharing straws. (The broken blood vessels in the nose easily infect people with the virus).
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Any of your loved ones have hepatitis C?
You asked so I will share..My husbands brother did. He hid it or tried to hide it for a few years. He told a few family members and ask them not to tell. In all reality he told most everyone but ask them not to tell.

He was reaching out for help but in the end he didn't get it.. he waited to late for medical help so please tell him to get medical help NOW!!!!

He is gone now and it could have been so much different! It attacks your mind and makes you make bad decisions.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I really do not know much about about hep c, so thanks for the information. I did read an article about crystal meth users with hep c and how the disease can progressively get worse quickly while actively using because of a compromised immune system. Also, a study was done and showed that even further brain damage can be done to ones brain while using crystal meth while infected.

Just another layer off worry on my part for my brother.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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My father got Hep C back in the late 60's or early 70's. He said it was from a blood transfusion from a motorcycle wreck (feasible, he did have a nasty wreck), BUT, recently I found out he was a meth user in the late 60's, so guess that could be the cause as well.

Anyways, he didn't know he was positive until he started getting tired and feeling off and had some bloodwork done about 10 years ago. So it took over 30 years to show up.

He did the interferon treatment I think it is called, was on it for almost a year and being in his mid 50's it really knocked him down. BUT, 10 years later he shows zero signs of Hep C anymore. His liver values are all good and he will be 66 this year.

He was starting to drink heavier prior to when he found out about the liver problems, I wonder if the drinking didn't stress his system and cause things to come to the surface. He quit drinking luckily when he found out.....well, he did for 10 years. Last year he started having a beer now and then and I have watched it slowly creep up, so guess we shall see where that leads.

Good luck from one sister to another. My brother DOC is heroin, curious if he will have any medical problems arise from his habits.
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