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Snorting cocaine and hepatitis c risk
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Snorting cocaine and hepatitis c risk

The other night I did something really stupid and had a line of cocaine at a house party, but used my own straw. The only thing is that I am starting to think that maybe the bread knife I used to cut the straw might have had blood on it (not that I noticed anything). For instance, say if, hypothetically, somebody cut himself or herself beforehand and then (even after washing the knife with standard washing up liquid) the knife still managed to scrape tiny or microscopic traces of blood onto the straw. I know, it sounds irrational but how does one rationalize this? I feel completely paralyzed (stuck between the rational and irrational). I mean, am I over thinking this? Have I really put myself at risk for Hepatitis C? I would really appreciate a second opinion. God bless

I have read that Hepatitis C can only be infectious (outside the body) between 16 hours and 4 days.

I am not concerned about HIV or Hepatitis A and B because 1) I can account that the knife was not used 4 to 5 hours before, allowing enough time for any HIV virus to die 2) I have been vaccinated against hepatitis A and B

Please no hurtful comments. Just looking for a second opinion. Thanks
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39 Comments Post a Comment
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1748829_tn?1338040641
You are probably not at any risk from the knife but if you ever share straw you are I don't know how big a risk! Anyway if you still feel freaked out you can get tested but you should wait I thinks its 6 weeks but I'm sure someone will chin in of I'm wrong about that. Other then that Hun the beat way to protect yourself from harm senseless harm is to not do drugs! Not trough draws needles well any kind! I'm not gripping I'm offering you some wisdom some of us party people found out way to late because I can assure not one of my highs makes up for the hell I've been going thru because of them! So be smart!
cas
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1652596_tn?1342015226
my study nurse told me that one of the ways to get hvc is snorting coke thru a straw.  please be careful.  no one's a saint here but we're paying too high a price now for former good times.  my doctor told me you never know when your past will come back to haunt you.  take better care of yourself.  you deserve it.  belle
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Avatar_m_tn
Would you guys recommend testing? To be honest with you I've had so many tests in the past I don't know if I can cope anymore?
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1747881_tn?1358189534
if your worried go get tested
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Avatar_f_tn
Best thing is to get help for the drug addiction and then you won't need continual testing for communicable diseases.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm thinking 1) Someone would have had to cut themselves on the bread knife within the last 5 days. 2) That person would have had to have hepatitis c. 3) I would have had to cut the straw were the blood was on the knife. 4) The straw would have had to cut the inside of my nose where there were traces of blood.

I only took one line, so the straw, not the cocaine, would have had to cut the mucus inside my nose and transmitted the virus within a space of 2/3 seconds. And there were no signs of blood. I even checked my nose afterwards with another straw and no matter how much I scrapped the straw on my nose there was still no sign of damage or bleeding. Also after further reading I have come to the understanding that the risk of snorting cocaine only occurs because the cocaine damages the inside of the nose and makes it bleed. So if the cocaine damages the nose after snorting then the only risk I can see would have been from the straw rubbing against the side of my nose and damaging it but after close inspection in front of the mirror I can not see any damage made. Even though I have learnt my lesson this situation seems to be as risky as say picking your nose or sharing kitchen utilities.        
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Avatar_m_tn
sounds likes paranoia from the cocaine. once you stop the powder you will realize how there was no risk at all.

or you can keep doing the powder and have thoughts like this:  "maybe this coke was smuggled in dead bodies, what if the dead person had Hep C and it got onto the coke" ..............

By the way absolutely NO risk of Hep C from what you describe.

Best of luck making safer decisions in the future.

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Avatar_m_tn
I really appreciate all your comments, but I am starting to feel more anxious... I admit I am quite anxious and this whole idea of testing has completely dominated my life. I have quit university, lost friends, family, etc. I had my first STD scare last year and ever since I have suffered from serve depression/anxiety that has been predominantly fueled by the internet. This year I have been admitted into a mental institution twice and have basically lost ever thing I have ever really care about in my life. I am not trying disregard what you guys are saying but this whole mentality of "I don't exactly know, better get yourself tested" is just unhealthy for me and others too. I realize you are trying to help people and create awareness but I have notice that sometimes you do more damage than good. The difference between the bloggers and the expects/doctors is that the expects/doctors can apply rationality with up to date research but the bloggers can only offer opinions. I have simply asked you whether or not I should be tested - please don't say I should get tested if I am worried because I only start to worry when people start telling me to test. I apologize in advance for my tone but I am just so tired with life.          
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1765684_tn?1333822768
Are you currently under the care of a psychiatrist?  I think that is job one.

Saying that people here "do more damage than good" by suggesting you get tested if you are worried is ridiculous.

If a person has engaged in risky behaviour and is worried about having come into contact with a serious disease, it would be entirely irresponsible for anyone to say, "Aw, don't worry about it."  I have a feeling that no matter what advice you receive here, it won't be satisfactory.

Sorry to be harsh but that is your problem, not ours.

I'm really not buying your story.  I've done a significant amount of blow back in the day.  It was so long ago, it's probably not even commonly called 'blow' anymore.  ;)  I have never, ever cut a straw with a butter knife.

I can't see how that's even possible.  If you were successful in cutting a straw with a butter knife, it would be so ragged a cut to render it useless for snorting coke.

Please get help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks allot copyman! You're the first person here to give me a straight answer. And as for you suezeeque, I don't understand your last comment. I was suggesting that when you touch things (like a knife) with your hands and then pick your nose you could potentially transmit viruses such as hepatitis c.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Why would I lie? I am trying to find out peoples opinions. It would basically mean that I am lying to myself. How else would you cut a straw if there was no scissors about which is quite a common scenario at a party. And it was a BREAD knife. Not a butter knife. And have I really engaged in a risky behaviour? Yes, maybe sharing notes with people, but from using a kitchen knife, I don't think so. (I bet you the doctors on this forum would contradict what you are saying) Look your obviously anti drugs and trying to scare people here and if I had the energy, I would argue with you but I don't so please leave me allow.  
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1765684_tn?1333822768
My comment about "risky behaviour" doesn't make me anti-anything.  Snorting cocaine is a known route of transmission of hep c.

Ask me how I know.
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Avatar_m_tn
No! Sharing notes while snorting cocaine is a known route of transmission of hep c.  
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1765684_tn?1333822768
If you haven't engaged in any risky behaviour, you have nothing to worry about.  Enjoy life.
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Avatar_f_tn
Lance,  Most of the people on this listserv/forum have moved away from substance use.  Until you do so as well, you are not likely to see it our way . . . that the drug use itself is a far scarier matter than HepC.  When you see everything else as threatening and frightening but the thing that is truly dangerous i.e. the substances you are using and the lifestyle you have adopted; it is time to reassess yourself, your actions, and your future.  You may want to ask yourself whether or not the  drug and its delusion are so compelling and enticing you would give your life for them.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good advice! I've been taking drugs (weeds and cocaine) since I was a teenager but ever since stopping 14 week ago (with the exception of that one line the other night) I have become increasingly aware of the dangers. Mostly, I guess, I am still in stock about how senseless and irresponsible I have been for so many years. I was raise in this life style; my parents, family, friends, etc. I just never thought about it like this. It was all normal. But some reason now something has changed in me and it feels like a ton of bricks has hits me. Mostly I feel a sense of guilty, resentment, shamefulness, useless but most of all scared - scared of a relapse and living a normal life. My only hope now is to survive and to one day be truly happy and live life abundantly. Apart from that one line and knife situation - I have had several negative tests up to 3.5 months including a 9 week PCR since the last time I shared a note with someone or smoked weed. I don't know why I tell you this and I am a little paranod of this kind of information being out there on the internet, but f&*k it - it feels god to let it out. Anyways, thanks for all the help and God bless.        
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1491755_tn?1333204962
The CDC says there is little epidemiological evidence regarding this mode of transmission.  As my doc told me your nose has to be heavily damaged in order for this to occur. You are at no risk.
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1794638_tn?1345158661
Ok........... Lance, I think the first thing I would is admit you may have a problem and then look at the consequences of that behavior.    There are many choices out there for choosing a clean and sober life.  However it is something you have got to " WANT"     And I am sure you have heard this speech before, but it just engulfs me in rage when I see anyone using drugs.   Only because I have and now and lived through hell in the last 10 of 22 years of being clean and am fighting for my life.      It just pisses me off.  
Please find a 12 step program, they do work, if you work them and then surround your self around individuals who dont use drugs or drink.     Get your tesing done and then go forward, but still stay in a program.   This is only my suggestion to you.  It worked for me & I know it can work for you.    God Luck :)
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1707536_tn?1334977677
"My only hope now is to survive and to one day be truly happy and live life abundantly."

Few people are 'truly happy' so you may be hoping for too much.

I'm not gonna lecture you on drugs, but if you must get high I'd suggest you switch to drugs with less potential for inducing paranoia and anxiety such as tranquilizers, opiates, etc.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sounds like you have already been "infected" by your family's SA.  I would say that is the thing to focus on with a psychotherapist and with a twelve step.  It seems like that influence is contagious and something that is going to be harder to shed than HepC would be.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just wanted to add something. Snorting drugs is definitely a viable way of transmitting HCV. As much as the CDC and other sources say risk is low I believe it happens more then we know.  People that are snorting cocaine usually are doing other risky things so snorting is over looked as how they got it.
This probably only happens when straws or bills are shared among users so
use your own straw if you continue to snort drugs.

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1765684_tn?1333822768
From the CDC's website:

Is cocaine use associated with HCV transmission?

There are very limited epidemiologic data to suggest an additional risk from non-injection (snorted or smoked) cocaine use, but this risk is difficult to differentiate from associated injection drug use and sex with HCV-infected partners.

And

Until more data are available, whether persons with a history of noninjecting illegal drug use alone (e.g., intranasal cocaine use) are likely to be infected with HCV remains unknown.

And

Common practices associated with these clusters of infection include serosorting (i.e., HIV-infected men having sex with one another), group sex, and the use of cocaine and other nonintravenous drugs during sex.

The jury isn't back on it.  James10500, it's my opinion that your doctor is being irresponsible telling you that this activity poses no risk for HCV infection.

It simply isn't known what the risk is.
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179856_tn?1333550962
I got it that way, no bread knives involved though, but lots and lots and lots of cocaine over a long period.

Was it worth it.............ah hell no.
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1491755_tn?1333204962
Doc is not being irresponsible he simply said you have to have a bleeding nose in order for this to happen, not a one and done.  He runs HALT C studies sits on the board that decides who gets livers in this country and writes papers that your doc reads and bases his opinion on.

How do you get "poses no threat" out of your nose has to be pretty messed up for transmission to occur.  The OP said it was his own straw that he shared with no one, thus there was no transfer. For transfer to occur there must be someone with HCV involved i.e. at least to people. There was not, so how could transfer occur.  As you posted there is little data, not saying it can't happen, but there has to be blood involved, meaning the nose has to be messed up.  Of course this is coming from a person that's published 300+ papers on HCV. You ?
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1747881_tn?1358189534
I got it from using drugs, if your worried go get tested !!!!
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1491755_tn?1333204962
Let me make this clear.

A one and done with a straw shared with no one, no chance.

Coke head with a bloody nose, heck ya !

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1765684_tn?1333822768

James10500 said:

"The CDC says there is little epidemiological evidence regarding this mode of transmission.  As my doc told me your nose has to be heavily damaged in order for this to occur. You are at no risk."

Your first comment was a general one.  Saying that there is little likelihood of transmission through snorting cocaine.

Who hasn't had a bloody nose from snorting cocaine?  It only takes once, man.  You can have a bloody nose the FIRST time you do it.  Don't have to be a "coke head" for that to happen.

Heavily damaged?  I think not.
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1747881_tn?1358189534
In no way would I like to place the drug addict stigma on people with hep c my heart goes out to all of you who lived inside the box and have this horrible disease, lance when I say horrible I mean it and if you choose to continue with " at risk behavior " the choice is all yours, but please don't come whining when your paranoid.
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Avatar_f_tn
do urself a favour. get tested. u r definitly over analizing things. like someone else said stop drugs then u wont need tests please get help. u ask peoples advise and opinions on this site then when u get them u dont want the answers. u wont get the answers u want until u get a simple blood test
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1491755_tn?1333204962
I could seriously careless what you think my response was to the OP

And posting stupid snarky comments about picking your nose help no one. If you want to argue call your husband, that ain't me babe.
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Avatar_m_tn
Your all over the place. I just asked if I was at risk but seem to have got lectures on drugs.  
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1765684_tn?1333822768
I'm sorry that you're having a bad day.  But this is just plain obnoxious.

"I could seriously careless what you think my response was to the OP

And posting stupid snarky comments about picking your nose help no one. If you want to argue call your husband, that ain't me babe."
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Avatar_m_tn
If you don"t like the answers you got on a public forum..you are not obliged to read them

you are at no risk...if you are not sure of that by what non experts say...get tested..there really isn"t anymore we can help you with...thx for stopping in..
Will
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Avatar_m_tn
No I am not having a bad day it is this forum that has made me feel bad. The second the cocaine went up my nose was the same second the straw left my nose. For transmission to happen the cocaine would have had to cut the inside of my nose and then the straw would have had to rub against that cut at the same time. By the time the cocaine would have cut my nose the straw would have been outside the nose. There are like two sections of the nose; the bottom part (where you usually pick your nose) and the part that is further up the nose. Wen you snort cocaine it mainly goes up the second part of your nose and then the straw (which was a very slim straw) might and I emphasize might touch the walls at the bottom part of the nose. So no real contact has been made. Plus the fact that there probably wasn't anyone blood on the straw in the first place.  
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179856_tn?1333550962
Lance your question was answered ten times arleady.

If you don't like the answer get tested again - and then next time you do some more coke get tested after that.  People on here have a serious disease and just dont have the time/energy to answer you over and over and over and over.

BTW HCV did not kill my husband but drugs certainly did.

Which is worse?  hum...........
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Avatar_m_tn
NYGirl - I am so sorry I didn't mean to upset you. Please can you give me your opinion because people here say different things.  

In your opinion, did I put myself at risk with the whole BREAD knife thing?  
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1747881_tn?1358189534
Knowledge is power, if you want to know about hcv transmission do the reseach yourself.
Have a nice day.
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179856_tn?1333550962
but I also believe that none of you know enough about life to be making such harsh judgements. "

Then why are you asking us over and over and over again.  Would you like a different answer?

Yes perhaps you are infected with the dread HEPATITIS C and now you will have to tell everyone that you got it via drug use so you will be stigmatized forever as a result.  Please be tested after your high risk behavior immediately.

Is that better than the simple word "no?"
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1140115_tn?1348499315
Hi, folks,

This discussion has run its course.

________________________________________________

                  ** CLOSED DISCUSSION**
                 NO MORE COMMENTS PLEASE
________________________________________________
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