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How Does Crack Cocaine Use Affect Diabetes, Specifically?

Question by Sarah: How does Crack Cocaine use affect Diabetes, specifically?
Hi – I’m a Type 1 – insulin dependant – diabetic (have had it for 23 years, since I was 5 yrs old), and I am / have been in drug treatment / “rehabilitation” for crack cocaine and heroin addiction for the past 10 years. Every 3 months, when it is mandatory to see an actual Doctor, rather than just a key-worker, for a so-called “medical review”, when I tell the ‘Doctor-Of-The-Day’, (dubbed so because my treatment centre is SOOO good and consistent that I get to see a new and totally unfamiliar Doctor each and every time!), that I am diabetic, I am ALWAYS, without fail, met with the cliche, car-mechanic style sharp intake of breath, followed by, “Oooo! Well then you REALLY need to be careful of what you’re doing then, in that case!”…. But NEVER an explanation as to WHY, EXACTLY, I, especially, i.e., more than other, NON-diabetic clients need to be SO careful! I have asked, more than once, why diabetics in particular need to be so much more especially careful when using drugs, as a result of the condition, but the Doctors (don’t know why I insist on using a capital D for Doctor, like they’re all God-like or something?!?! but that’s besides the point here isn’t it?, SO…), The ALL the doctors I’ve so far put this question to just fob me off with, “Well, you’re key-worker can/will answer that for you if you ask them another time; I’m simply here to review your prescription and unfortunately don’t have the time to discuss other, non-drug-related matters, at this time.” I.e., I don’t really know, so I’ll use my apparent/imagined importance to avoid the question altogether.”!!!!!!! I think it’s obviously needless for me to say here that my key-workers are just as baffled / ignorant on the subject as I and all the so-called ‘professional’ doctors are, so I still don’t have an answer! I understand diabetes, and I studied Biomedical Science at degree level for one year, so I’m not STUPID and I DO understand how the human body works better than most, so I tried to find the answer for myself using information that is available online – However – Trying to find info’ that explains or describes how crack and/or heroin use / addiction affects a diabetic user, specifically, with regard to their diabetes only, I’ve found is near enough impossible! Everywhere you go, for info’ on “effects of crack cocaine and heroin on diabetes/diabetics” supplies only generic info’ on the drugs’ common (side) effects with NOTHING specific pertaining to how exactly diabetes does, or potentially could, affect or complicate the drugs’/body’s usual interaction / metabolism of the drugs in question. Can someone with REAL knowledge on this subject please tell me why a diabetic addict/user is so much more at risk than a non-diabetic addict/user?!?! I would really appreciate REAL, solid, scientific info’ on this subject rather than simple conjecture, theory and suggestion/personal opinion! Many thanks, Sairra x X x

Best answer:

Answer by Mr. Peachy®
You’ll never catch me capitalizing doctor unless it’s a salutation like “Dr.”, for example. There are a few doctors worthy of respect, but I suspect they won’t be found in a treatment center. At any rate, I have learned (the hard way) that drugs… all drugs, tend to interfere with the metabolism in one way or another. Many of them can either increase insulin resistance or cause excess release of cortisol which causes the liver to release stored glycogen as glucose into the blood. As a type one, the last thing you want is insulin resistance (my particular situation as a type two). It would, in effect, make you “double diabetic” meaning you would have to increase your insulin dose for the same amount of carb intake. Trust me, you don’t want to go there. As to specifically which drugs cause what, I don’t really know as I have investigated myself (a former meth and alcohol user) and found very little specific information on the subject. What I can tell you is this. Since getting off of all drugs (that includes the diabetes drug, Metformin), and learning a lot on nutrition, my life has improved significantly. I would never consider going back. Sorry I couldn’t have been more help, but there just isn’t a lot of stuff available out there. Perhaps this might be an opportunity for you to continue your Biomedical Science education and become an educator on the subject. The more I learn about what drugs do to me, the less I want them in my body. And that includes legal, and especially prescription, drugs

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NDAS – heroin treatment in Northamptonshire – A video guide to community drug and alcohol services provided by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.