There is a growing problem sweeping across the US and it is called the hepatitis C virus. Currently, hepatitis C has no cure and there is no preventive vaccine for it either. A 2011 study has confirmed that the key cause of hepatitis C is sharing IV needles that are used to inject people with heroin and other illicit drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention carried out this particular study.

The reason for the rising number of Hepatitis C cases is due to all of the efforts that are being made against prescription pill abuse. It is not so easy for people to walk into a doctor's office or hospital and walk out with a prescription for painkillers anymore. These efforts have caused many drug users to switch to heroin. Heroin is easy to get, it is cheap, and it renders the same effects.

In 2010 the pharmaceutical companies rallied to reformulate drugs that contained oxycodone. This was done to reduce the number of people that were abusing these kinds of drugs. While this did offer some promise it also accelerated the switch to heroin.

Many people that would be least expected end up turning to heroin. The newest group is suburban teens that began their journey of addiction right out of the medicine cabinets in their own homes and are now hooked on some of the darkest and deadliest drugs known to man.

Someone ends up telling these kids about heroin and they try it but usually never inject the drug, at least initially. They have the money and the cars to find heroin. Most start out snorting it but it doesn't take long before they try shooting it up. Once that happens they rarely turn back. Sharing needles is common and this leads to even greater numbers of Hepatitis C cases.

Hepatitis C is a big public health problem and aside from sharing IV needles, Hepatitis C is also spread through sex. Casual and unprotected sex is common amongst drug users and to further complicate things, the pregnant mother can spread the virus to her fetus too. This increases the numbers even more.

About three quarters of those who have Hepatitis C don't know it. This is because there are virtually no symptoms in the early stages of the virus. The only means that are available to combat this virus is through education that consists of letting people know the risks involved and teaching them how to prevent infecting others.

Hepatitis C is responsible for around 15,000 deaths annually in the US alone. This is a virus that attacks the liver and it can result in death or liver cancer. Currently, any person that is diagnosed with Hepatitis C is obligated to work with their local health department and explore various options to thwart the spread of the virus.

A blood test can determine if someone has hepatitis C and the virus does not go away. There are medicines that can help ease the problems associated with hepatitis C but the side effects are problematic. The best means of prevention are currently through education.

Mr. Spanswick is currently bringing his extensive mental health and business backgrounds to bear as the CEO of KLEAN Treatment Center a Residential drug and alcohol treatment center that utilizes a dual diagnosis approach and evidence based therapies.