Drugs can be consumed through a variety of routes. Some drugs are injected Intravenously (e. g. heroin etc), some are swallowed (e. g. amphetamines, ecstasy etc), some are smoked or inhaled into the lungs (e. g. cocaine etc) where as some are applied over the mucosal surface (e. g. cocaine etc). The drug when applied over the mucosal surface, usually the nasal mucosa is directly absorbed into the blood stream.
Intravenous injection of drugs into the blood stream among the youth is associated with a dangerous health problem, i.e. risk of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) resulting in development of AIDS. There is a recognized association between HIV infection and the sharing of contaminated needles while injecting drugs intravenously into the blood stream (Amodeo et al, 2004).
In a study by Brook et al (2002) drug abuse among adolescents and young people was associated with high levels of risky behaviour (which would expose an individual to the risk of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C etc) and early pregnancies.
Drug abuse is also frequently associated with engagement in prostitution for the purpose of procuring drugs and having sexual relationship with infected, drug using partners, both of which can also act as risk factors for transmission of HIV infection (Brook et al, 2002). Maternal drug use can also result in transmission of HIV infection to the newborn child and other pregnancy related complications like premature delivery etc (Amodeo, et al, 2004).