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Amid Philadelphia opioid crisis, infections from IV drug use skyrocket

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KYW Newsradio 1060

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There's a grand new measurement for the severity of Philadelphia's opioid epidemic Invensys skyrocketing number of infections related to IV drug use the story from our city hall bureau chief Pat lobe epidemiologist I live pizzicato says hospitals are seeing more IV drug users turn up in emergency rooms with sepsis skin and soft tissue infections often as a result of dirty needles bacteria on the needle or on the surface of the skin bacteria can enter the blood it's a less talked about consequence of the opioid epidemic the city says it's expanding needle exchange programs and supporting mobile services to treat injection related skin infections it's also increasing access to medically assisted treatment in hopes of decreasing the number of drug users it says hospitals could help with that when a drug user seeks medical attention it could be an opportunity to get them into treatment but one in five patients leave before their infections are healed because they going to withdraw this is Jing hospitals to learn to manage withdrawal