Frank Sinatra called him “the only true genius in show business.” Billy Joel said that he” was more important than Elvis Presley.” To his fans, he was just Ray. Ray Charles had to pull himself up from extreme hardship for most of his life.
He achieved massive success despite having been born into poverty and losing his sight by the age of seven from glaucoma. The music legend touched most of the world with his soulful voice, poignant songwriting skills and infectious charisma. However, the icon did have his misgivings. Early in his young adulthood, he developed an addiction to heroin and eventually succumbed to complications from substance abuse. Despite kicking the habit in 1996, Ray died less than 10 years later in 2004 due to liver failure/hepatitis C. He was 73 years old.
Why does substance abuse cause liver failure?
Drug abuse and its effects, while considerably less well-known than the effects of alcohol abuse, can wreak equally harmful havoc on the liver, which is responsible for breaking down all things ingested or absorbed into the bloodstream and filtering out the toxins so the body can absorb the healthy nutrients that remain.
It becomes challenging for the liver to perform its normal function with extreme amounts of toxins in our bodies, essentially making the liver work overtime to remove all of the poison so it doesn’t affect the rest of our system.
Heroin and the Liver
Heroin has its most profound effect on the liver through the illness of hepatitis, which is the inflammation of the liver most often due to a viral infection. People can get hepatitis from using heroin regardless of the method of ingestion.
Heroin is also easily passed among addicts through the sharing of needles. Although Hepatitis B is the most common and severe form of the virus, Hepatitis C is also extremely dangerous and causes serious health conditions long term.
Like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C (HCV) spreads through contact with infected body fluids, such as blood, semen, and vaginal fluids. The most common vectors through which hepatitis C spreads in the United States are sexual contact and needle sharing. One of the most common bloodborne infections in the world, hepatitis C currently infects between 2.7 and 3.9 million Americans as reported by the CDC.
This is partially because this particular virus is generally transmitted via blood and the severity of it is linked directly to the physical health of the sufferer before they contracted the disease, and heroin addicts are typically malnourished.
What are some of the treatments for hepatitis and liver failure?
Seeing that most cases of hepatitis are linked to substance abuse, attending a treatment center will improve the likelihood of successful recovery from the addiction, especially in the short term, and therefore improve the chances that the individual