Four million Americans misused prescription opioid painkillers in 2014. Those who do are 40 times more likely to inject heroin or other drugs than other people. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are blaming that misuse for a 12-fold increase in endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves.

“Endocarditis, or infection of the valves of the heart, due to needle sharing has been on the rise; and the rise has been directly associated with the increase in opioid use in the United States,” Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Medline… more

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