So many dangerous diseases are linked to drug use and abuse. This is a problem that many countries are facing at this present time. Indeed, drugs can cause a person’s life, aside from all the suffering that one must go through because of drug effects. In Cleveland, deadly heart infections linked to drug use rose nationally from 8 percent to 16 percent from 2002 to 2016.

The majority of patients with abuse-related illness were younger, low-income white males on Medicaid. Regionally across the United States, the Midwest saw the largest increases in these cases. Cleveland Clinic doctors sounded the alarm last year on the rise in heart infections, known as infective endocarditis, linked specifically to opioid use. They noted that 18 percent of their patients with this condition were also addicted to opioid, up from 10 percent in 2014.

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Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen said back in 2018 that the “ongoing cost and human suffering related to these infected heart valves is a legacy that will continue even if we stop the epidemic tomorrow. This is a ripple effect that keeps on growing.”

Infective endocarditis is a condition where bacteria, often staphylococcus, gets into the bloodstream via a dirty needle or contaminated drug. The bacteria then eats away at the valve, potentially causing leaky valves, heart failure, abscesses, and stroke. Untreated, it can be fatal.