● The epidemic of drug taking has resulted in an increase of infectious diseases caused by the use of contaminated needles and syringes. Repeated needle punctures break the skin’s protective barrier and open the way for infectious diseases to travel throughout the body. In one city, twenty-four young adults died in one year from heart infections alone. In the case of one young girl, bacteria traveled past her skin where contaminated needles had been used, through her veins, and lodged on a heart valve. Despite treatment with tens of millions of units of antibiotics, she died.