About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Mixed Drug Abuse Could be Impacting Hospitals In Different Ways

by Rishika Gupta on April 27, 2018 at 7:06 PM
Font : A-A+

Mixed Drug Abuse Could be Impacting Hospitals In Different Ways

Higher cases of endocarditis have been reported in the hospitals over the last decade, but they have been found to follow a mixed drug abuse pattern, which is worrying. The findings of this study are published in the Journal of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.

The nearly decade-long retrospective study analyzed patients in the epicenter of the opioid epidemic--West Virginia. Findings showed a trend between the significant increase in patients hospitalized with endocarditis from mixed drug abuse and the substantial cost it has on state and federal programs.


The rise of opioid abuse is a growing health crisis in the United States, particularly in areas hardest hit by the economic downturn, with an average of 115 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses (NIDA).

One of the most challenging and costly complications of the intravenous (IV) drug epidemic is endocarditis, a rare, life-threatening bacterial valve infection that can destroy heart valves and spread throughout the body.

Endocarditis is often associated with heart defects or abnormal valves but can also be formed by using unsanitary needles to inject drugs causing bacteria from the needle to be released directly into the bloodstream.

Endocarditis is a "hard to treat"condition and often ends in mortality. According to the CDC, addicts with endocarditis are ten times more likely than other patients to die or require a second surgery months after initially leaving the hospital.

The study systematically analyzed all patients who were admitted during a nine-year period with associated drug abuse and endocarditis, utilizing International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes. Patients involved in the study had been handling cocaine, OxyContin, Demerol, Percocet and other opioids in large doses, likely causing immune system compromise further increasing their risk for valve infection from bacteria repeatedly introduced into the bloodstream during drug injection. A time series model was used to investigate the effect of drug use on the incidence of endocarditis and estimate cost based on charges.

During the study period, a total of 462 patients were hospitalized with infective endocarditis and concomitant explicit drug use. Infective endocarditis cases increased from 26 cases in 2008 to 66 cases in 2015. Most of the patient cases were uninsured (10.4 percent) or underinsured by federal and state programs (10.6 percent and 56.2 percent respectively).

Throughout the study period, $17.3 million was billed by the hospital, and the total reimbursement was only $3.8 million. In 2015 alone, the hospital lost $3.5 million to care for these patients. These staggering increases in costs to West Virginia and the hospital come at a time of regional economic uncertainty and contracting hospital reimbursement.

"Endocarditis is a serious, hard to treat condition that significantly increases one's risk of death," said lead author Mark Bates, MD and Director of Cardiovascular Research Advancement at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC). "We are working as a team to help find solutions for communities to combat the spread of pandemics and increase awareness in our cities about the dangers of opioid use and the life-threatening condition of endocarditis."

The authors note interest to further analyze the benefits of intensive preventive measures through heat mapping, such as selecting communities for needle exchanges, creating various support groups, and educating users on the dangers of IV drug use.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Cannabis Drug Abuse Screening Test Drug Abuse Signature Drug Toxicity Drug Detox Drugs Banned in India Recreational Drugs are not Completely Safe Impact of Drug Abuse on Health and Society Substance Abuse Disorder 

Recommended Reading
Drug Abuse Disrupts Development of Prefrontal Cortex
All drugs can have dangerous effects. Many can be unpredictable and variable. There are numerous ......
Parental Attention May Reduce Risk of Drug Abuse in Teens
Parental attention can reduce the risk of drug abuse in adolescence. Survey of more than 6,000 ......
Social Media Can Help Rule Out Prescription Drug Abuse
Many people who are addicted to drugs seek help from peer support groups on Facebook and other ......
Simple Method To Reduce Drug Abuse By 40%
Doctors who intervene with their patients on drug abuse can increase their chance of reducing the .....
Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy pl...
Drug Abuse
The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or sub...
Drug Detox
Drug detoxification (or drug detox) is a process that helps drug addicts to give up drugs with less ...
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Drugs Banned in India
Several drugs are either banned or withdrawn after introduction in the market....
Impact of Drug Abuse on Health and Society
Drug abuse is a negative social trend that pushes youth to drug addiction in the pretext of getting ...
Recreational Drugs are not Completely Safe
Recreational drugs are commonly used in rave parties. Serotonin syndrome can occur in patients takin...
Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance abuse disorder is a dependency on substances that are hazardous when consumed in large ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)