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Cocaine again, damn it! (COCAINE 2009)
Sep 27, 2009

Dear Bob,

I need your support because you mean a lot to me as a role model from someone who is vehemently but wisely struggles with HIV. I'm a successful person by all measures. When I was very young (i'm now 30 and have HIV for 4 years) I had serious problems with drugs. As I got older, I managed to get over it, for the most part, however, every year or so I get a relapse of 2-3 weeks of intensive drug use, particularly Cocaine (the food of the gods!) uh!

My last episode was extreme as I laid my hands on a source of 100% pure cocaine. I snorted it, but then it occurred to me to get more buzz by injecting it. Alas, I did it for 3 weeks.

It is not exactly a question, because I know the risk of what I was doing and I talked to my HIV specialist about it who put me for hepatitis C test. And add to that malnutrition and lack of sleep during this period. I need a moral boost, please tell someone who does not want his life to go to waste why he shouldn't use Cocaine, and why you yourself does not use it. You must have the right mindset and I want to hear you speak your mind about it, even in a few lines which would help me a lot.

With love, Moe

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Moe,

Cocaine the "food of the gods"??? Nah, I consider it more of a oneway trip to hell.

There are many reasons to avoid cocaine like the plague. I'll just hit the high points.

Medical dangers. Cocaine causes heart attacks and mental illness. It can also destroy your appetite, your brain, your relationships, your career, your bank account and, well, your life.

Cocaine is extremely addictive.

Cocaine and other party drugs can interact with your HIV medications. Drug companies don't study interactions between their drugs and illegal substances. Consequently, we don't have a good understanding of these interactions.

Being high increases your risk of getting other infectious or possibly spreading HIV to others. Cocaine lowers your inhibitions and completely fogs your judgment, allowing you to take risks you otherwise would never take.

Cocaine's effect on HIV. Cocaine can rev up HIV replication and knock down CD4 counts. Studies also show that active coke heads are less likely to take their HIV medications correctly, which increases the risk for developing drug resistance.

Moe, this is only the top five on a list that could easily be ten times this long. If you want an additional reason to steer clear of coke, just take a look at yourself in the mirror after a coke binge. Not a pretty sight, right?

Since this is a recurrent problem for you, I'd recommend getting into a drug rehabilitation program, hooking up with a sponsor and kicking the coke habit permanently. The best chance you have of fighting HIV is to keep yourself both physically and mentally healthy.

Good luck Moe.

Dr. Bob



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