WDP's TB Campaign
People who are dependent on drugs and alcohol are up to 10 times more likely to get TB than the rest of the population, according to the National Treatment Agency (NTA). That’s why WDP has been campaigning about TB for so many years and why we are delighted to have teamed up with TB Alert to make a special resource for drug and alcohol users.
WDP works with thousands of service users each year, supporting them to recover from dependency. Knowledge of health risks and what treatment is on offer are really important elements in recovery. TB Alert is the only charity in the UK which works solely on fighting tuberculosis in Britain and overseas, the organisations aims to raise awareness and highlight the truths about the infection in order to avoid unnecessary deaths.
The Truth About TB, Alcohol and Drugs is a new resource which provides essential information about the relationship between TB, alcohol and drugs. The leaflet explains what TB is, how it is transmitted, risk factors, common symptoms and what action people should take if they are concerned they may be affected. It also provides a comprehensive list of sources of advice and information.
WDP’s joint venture with TB Alert coincides with World TB Day on 24 March. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about the infection so that people recognise the symptoms and seek treatment.
TB is an infection caused by a germ that mostly affects the lungs; however any part of the body can be infected including the kidneys, brain or bones. TB can be cured easily through a course of antibiotics yet every year over 1.7 million die from the infection as they are left undiagnosed or do not have access to treatment.
In the UK, cases of TB have been rising since the 1980s and around 8,500 are diagnosed with the infection each year. TB is more likely to affect people with a lower immune system; late nights, drinking, smoking and drug use can all have an impact on the way our bodies fight off infections. Smoking tobacco, cannabis and other drugs such as crack and heroin can affect the diagnosis of TB as the symptoms are often mistaken for a ‘smoker’s cough’. Poor living conditions and nutrition can go hand in hand with substance use; these factors can also increase the risk of catching TB.
Useful Resources on TB
Here is the leaflet created by TB Alert in partnership with WDP
Get tested at the 'Find and Treat' Mobile X-ray Unit:
Find out the location of the Mobile TB X-ray van for March 2012: http://www.wdp-drugs.org.uk/data/files/News/MXU_Schedule_March_2012.pdf
World TB Day:
To find out more about World TB Day, you can visit this website
A range of resources from TB Alert:
Leaflet about the diagnosis and treatment of TB (free)
TB Alert leaflets (available in 20 languages, there is a charge for ordering these)
Guidance for those affected (free)
Guidance for families affected (free)
‘Don’t pass it on’ TB poster (free)
A light-hearted animated video about the symptoms of TB that can be used as a screen saver and in waiting rooms (free)
Health Protection Agency:
Helpful fact sheet about TB (free)
Helpful free reports and leaflets about TB – including materials for prison officials and people working with the homeless (free)
British Lung Foundation:
This is a useful website on tuberculosis (free, available in English, Welsh, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu):