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Hepatitis C Risk & Sharing Cocaine Straws

I just read an article today in the Wall Street Journal that freaked me out. The article was about the transmission of Hepatitis C through shared cocaine straws. (In retrospect this makes perfect sense, but at the time I didn't consider it.) Several years ago I tried cocaine once at a party. That was my only experience with drug use, I snorted half a line, and I always regretted it. I don't remember if the straw was shared, but it probably was.

Can anyone out there give me a ballpark risk calculation associated with a single exposure?
11 Responses
96938 tn?1189799858
On a scale of 1 to 100, about a 2.
Avatar universal
there is a higher risk then once thought. the more times someone snorts with shared straws the more risk.
you would have to have the worse luck in the would to have gotten infected from the one time you describe.

go and enjoy life
1225178 tn?1318980604
I agree with the above. The reason there is a risk of catching HCV while sharing straws is because extended use causes the inside of the nose to get raw and bleed. Both users have to have a raw nose to pass it though. If you tend to have nose bleeds, your chances may be a little higher.

Personally I'd be more concerned if I had had a precedure done at one of the big clinics in the past few years where they gave you a pain shot. I've read of one in Nevada and a Mayo clinic in FL that infected employees were using the meds and then giving the patient their shot with the same needle. Wondering how many more do this that haven't been caught yet. I'd get the antibody test just to be on the safe side.

179856 tn?1333547362
If you knew the people I hung out with when I was younger you'd know that unfortunately my odds of having gotten it that way are like 100%.  We thought we were SO cool............yeah............guess we learned since a good portion are dead from HCV or HIV.

However a half a line one time doesn't seem to be too threatening to me.   It's all in perspective with this one but it doesn't seem very likely.
Avatar universal
When I was young and had Hep c without knowing it I repeatedly shared cocaine straws with many friends. None of them that I have stayed in touch with over the years and did not have  risk factor have hepatitis c now.  The chances are so slim as you heard that I would not worry about it.  
Avatar universal
i know for a fact that i used the same straw with someone that had hep c.... so wat are my chances that i have it?
Avatar universal
once again, depends on how many times. I think that this is such a viable way of transmission that I would get tested if I was you. Knowing someone has the disease makes the odds of transmission far greater.

Good luck
1491755 tn?1333201362
1491755 tn?1333201362
Avatar universal
sorry but i disagree with dr hook.  I think it can be transmitted easier then he makes it sound. If I found out someone I snorted with had HCV I would worry and get tested.
1491755 tn?1333201362
Ya if they had hep c for sure.  It ain't like smoking some herb that's for sure.
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