Finding Peace Of Mind After Addiction – Why It’s So Important To Get Tested For Hepatitis C

One of the most common risks for people navigating addiction is contracting Hepatitis C (Hep C). Our series, Turning Points, is dedicated to giving former addicts and their partners a platform to share their recovery journeys. As part of the series, we also wanted to share valuable insights and resources about what it means to get your life back on track during the recovery process; one point being, getting tested for Hep C.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that primarily affects the liver by causing inflammation and potentially leading to severe liver damage over time. The virus is mainly transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, which is why addicts sharing needles are of elevated risk.

What’s tricky is that Hep C often presents no symptoms in its early stages, so many addicts and former addicts don’t even know they are infected. Oftentimes people actively injecting drugs can carry and spread the virus without realizing it.

When symptoms do appear, they can include fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms. Here’s a few stories from recovering addicts about their experiences testing positive for Hep C:

‘So I got the news I have Hep C today… I have been sober for about 4 years so this is all wild to me. I gave birth to my son 2 years ago. I am in a state of shock but still, obviously, it makes sense. How much damage has been done to my liver in 4 years? That’s all I can think about. I’m also going to have my son tested. I feel so much guilt. I’ve had chronic exhaustion for years now and it’s starting to make sense as well.’

‘I had Hep C for many years… I suffered so long with Hep C until I got treatment. The chronic exhaustion was the worst for me, and the depression and not being able to eat and always feeling sick. Ugh it was horrible.’

Getting tested for Hep C is crucial for early detection and effective management of the disease and preventing the long-term health consequences associated with the virus. Early testing allows for intervention, which reduces the risk of severe liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. So, if you happen to be in a high risk group for Hep C, such as those with a history of intravenous drug use, consider getting tested. The more you know, the more time you give yourself to take action and the more peace you can bring to your mind.

Quote source: (Reddit)

About the author

January Nelson

January Nelson

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.