Special Challenges for People with Substance Abuse

If you use drugs or alcohol it is important to stop.  Abuse of these substances poses the risk of serious liver damage, even in people without Hepatitis C.

One of the most important jobs your liver does is to break down and filter out toxic substances from your body.  Hepatitis C reduces your liver’s ability to do this.  If you have Hepatitis C, it’s even more important to avoid substances that may further harm your liver, like drugs and alcohol.

Drinking too much can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, advanced liver disease, or even liver cancer.  At present, there is no evidence for a safe level of alcohol for people with Hepatitis C.  And it doesn’t help to switch from “hard” liquor to beer or wine.  The best advice is to avoid alcohol completely. This is even more important while on treatment for Hepatitis C.

If you want to stop using drugs or alcohol and need help to do so, ask your doctor or someone else you trust about getting into a treatment program.  In addition, you can contact the following agencies for information and help:

Alcoholics Anonymous
A.A. World Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 459
New York, NY 10163
(212) 870-3400

Narcotics Anonymous
World Service Office in Los Angeles
P.O. Box 9999
Van Nuys, CA 91409
(818) 773-9999