Deaths related to intravenous drugs in Iceland have increased vastly, according to physicians. Last year six individuals died because of that type of drug abuse, 38 percent of intravenous drug abusers admitted to the National Hospital’s intensive care unit.
In comparison, none of those who were admitted to the intensive care unit for the same reasons in 2003 died, Fréttabladid reports.
“They were all young people and it hurts to see them go this way,” said physician Thóroddur Ingvarsson, who has investigated this development.
Magnús Gottfredsson, senior physician of the National Hospital’s contagious disease department, said serious but rare blood infections among patients are becoming more common and that drug use increases the risk of such infections.
“These infections are deadly and the mortality rate is 15 to 30 percent. Still we only see the tip of the ice berg,” Gottfredsson said. “It is tragic to watch these people who should have a bright future ahead die or fight with chronic diseases because of drug abuse.”