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Kidney Disease & Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Substance abuse and renal function

Hey. First and foremost, thanks to those who make this forum possible. It’s such a valuable resource to so many and a jumping off point for informative dialogue with their PCPs and/or Specialists.

A friend of mine is worried about her son and is conflicted on how to help him. Understandably, she doesn’t want to believe he still struggles with drug dependency. Of course, it doesn’t help that he would ferociously deny it, even if he we caught in the act.

However, he’s disclosed his problems to me personally in the past and has been homeless for the last year, claiming it was the fault of his gf and her, (solo), struggle with opioid abuse disorder.

You get the idea...

He has been hospitalized in another state with acute renal failure and has started hemodialysis that they’re hoping will be short term. Creatinine levels are have remained concerning and they’re also trying to now manage blood pressure (180/99). Waiting on the results of biopsy to know more.

During his hospitalization, he’s simultaneously tested positive for Hep B and Hep C. No other recent health issues, history of psoriasis and asthma - both mostly untreated.

She said shes noticed that he had some new tattoos the last time she saw him. He had mentioned they were not done by a professional, which could account for hepatitis transmission. In combination with renal failure however, and only the little information the hospital staff was able to give over the phone, it’s hard not to assume that this isn't related to habitual drug use.

What is the likelihood that his current state of health could be attributed to anything beyond substance abuse?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
And also, multitasking.  Please excuse my typos.
Avatar universal
Hi Zero
My sis (59 now) was a drug user and clean now for 21 years. On methadone now but her kidneys had failed twice years ago. She is in 3-4 renal failure. No dialysis. No help from docs. I know from my own kidney disease (CKD) and my siblings and mother kidney problems that we have PKD. It’s genetic from one parent which means it starts later in in life (30+yrs or older). If both parents carry the gene then problems start in early childhood. My daughters started at age 2 and she is 43 with high BP and other kidney problems. Drugs can cause problems but you usually recover with minimal damage. Mine started with high blood calcium due to over active parathyroids causing my kidneys to work too hard. Plus I was taking 600mg of Aleve a day. NSAIDS that pass thru the kidneys are dangerous. I ended up on dialysis for six weeks! I have to watch my GFR, Creatine levels and BUN every two months now. This started when I was 40. I’m now 60.
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