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Drugs and Alcohol Overview

for Veterans and the Public

Drugs and Alcohol: Overview

If you've just found out that you are HIV positive, you might be wondering what alcohol and other "recreational" drugs will do to your body. (Recreational drugs are drugs that aren't being used for medical purposes, such as cocaine, amphetamines, and pot; this also includes prescription medicines that are being used for pleasure.)

You may be wondering whether these drugs are bad for your immune system. And what about your HIV medications--can recreational drugs affect those?

Each person is different, and a lot depends on which drugs you use, how much you use, and how often you use them.

However, most experts would agree that, in large amounts, drugs and alcohol are bad for your immune system and your overall health. Remember, when you have HIV, your immune system is already weakened.

In this series, you can read about what alcohol and drugs can do to your overall health.