Drug users who are infected with HIV are 74 percent more likely to experience drug overdose, a recent study suggests.

Researcher Traci Green, Ph.D. says factors contributing to the increased risk may include poorer physical health, poverty and poor access to medication-assisted therapy to treat opioid dependence.

Green points out that drug treatment with methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone) has been shown to protect against fatal drug overdose, and she suggests that improved access to these therapies would be one important way to reduce high overdose risk in this population.

The study was conducted by Rhode Island Hospital and the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research.

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