University of Utah's School of Dentistry trains dental students to identify early signs of substance abuse in patients.
Contraction of HCV is of particular concern for individuals who have used drug injection, and individuals born between 1945 and 1965 (SAMHSA, 2011). HCV has greater related deaths and risk of transmission than HIV (Bruggmann & Grebely 2015). Within populations of individuals who have injected drugs, those who have been infected are 1 out of 3 young adults and 3 out of 4 older adults (CDC, 2014). In addition, HCV leads to cirrhosis and chronic liver disease (SAMHSA, 2011). Considering the mentioned the prevalence and health outcomes, the ATTC Network has developed an initiative to increase knowledge of treatment and testing for HCV.
Currently there are several treatment options. For additional information and resources concerning HCV in region 8: http://attcnetwork.org/regional-centers/content.aspx?rc=centralrockies&content=CUSTOM3
Some clients are hesitant to receive HCV treatment due concerns about side effects and desire for additional information concerning the virus and treatment (Roose et al., 2014). Using peer educators can help to increase trust in the treatment and provide social support (Roose et al 2014). To increase client trust it may help to have staff and service providers be knowledgeable in screening processes and treatment options. For a free online course providing an overview on HCV: www.attcnetwork.org/Projects/HCV_Snapshot.aspx
Bruggmann, P., & Grebely, J. (2015). Prevention, treatment and care of hepatitis C virus infection among people who inject drugs. International Journal Of Drug Policy, 26(Suppl 1), S22-S26. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.08.014
Roose, R. J., Cockerham-Colas, L., Soloway, I., Batchelder, A., & Litwin, A. H. (2014). Reducing barriers to hepatitis C treatment among drug users: An integrated hepatitis C peer education and support program. Journal Of Health Care For The Poor And Underserved, 25(2), 652-662. doi:10.1353/hpu.2014.0096
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2011). Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 53. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4801. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
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