Hepatitis C and Opioid Addiction: Treating Both Conditions
Last updated: June 2023
If you are under 40 and diagnosed with Hepatitis C, you probably have more problems than you know what to do with. If you got hepatitis C through a dirty needle, there is hope for your future. For years, baby boomers like me were the ones with hepatitis C. New numbers show that younger opioid users are causing the virus to spread. Whether you are high class or poor, live in the country, or the city - it doesn’t matter. Everyone has the same chance of getting hep C from an infected needle. In this article I share tips for treating both hepatitis C and opioid addiction.
Managing hepatitis C and opioid addiction
When life has ups and downs, our feelings feel like a roller coaster. When using drugs, your mind gets a break in 2 ways. First, there is less physical pain. Second, a chemical bath washes over your brain. You’re chill, happy, and calm. The things that bothered you melt away. You already know this, but the minute you start to come down, the mental and physical pain becomes even worse than before you took the drug. There are ways out of the cycle of pain.
Nobody likes to talk about this part of it. Many even think that a counselor doesn’t really care. If you have ever connected with a truly good case worker or therapist, you know that they can help save your life. If you are self-medicating, that means there are painful things in your life that need to be talked about. Talk therapy is aimed at helping you discover, and express, the challenges you face in life. Sometimes group counseling is offered as well. Think about looking for a counselor you can trust to help you out.
One medication you may try is an opioid replacement. Many clinics offer them. You can become part of a drug-free program to help you gain more confidence in your ability to live drug free.
Hep C treatment
The next drug you need to start taking is a hepatitis C treatment. By becoming hep C-free, your liver will begin to heal. Soon you will feel better and can set new goals in life.
If you are still using, but want to reduce your risk – there are options. Find a place that has a needle exchange, if you can. Take precautions when using drugs. Set up some new standards for yourself. Your friends might look up to you. This could be your chance to help others.
One step at a time
The first step to getting help is realizing you need it. If you have read this far, you know what to do. Look inside and see if there is any sadness that won’t go away. Understand that drugs don’t make problems disappear. Talk to someone and start a plan for your life–one in which you feel in control of hepatitis C and opioid addiction. Then look to make changes using prescriptions to give you a fresh start. Make wise choices to prevent getting re-infected.
Learn about Help-4-Hep.