- Cocaine-users risk contracting hepatitis if they share
rolled-up bank notes and straws to snort drugs, a report has warned.
- Although the health risks of sharing needles and other
injecting equipment are well known, many drug-users could be unwittingly
putting themselves at risk because they are unaware of the dangers of snorting.
- Hepatitis B and C affect the liver and can cause serious
- Matthew Dolan, author of the Hepatitis C Handbook, said
it was not known how many people had caught the disease through sharing
contaminated bank notes.
- The danger was that snorting cocaine through the nose
could damage blood vessels in the nostrils causing a user to bleed on to
the bank note.
- If the same note was then used by another user, any infection
could be passed between them.
- Even microscopic droplets of blood could contain the
- A recent survey showed that 99pc of the banknotes in
London had traces of cocaine on them, 20pc with levels high enough to suggest
- Hepatitis C has been described as the biggest viral threat
facing the world.