Drugs: the complete collection
 Drugs: the complete collection

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Drugs: the complete collection

All Effectiveness Bank analyses to date of documents related to use and problem use of illegal drugs starting with the analyses most recently added or updated, totalling today 815 documents.

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REVIEW 2010 HTM file
Optimal provision of needle and syringe programmes for injecting drug users: a systematic review

Jones L., Pickering L., Sumnall H. et al.
International Journal of Drug Policy: 2010, 21, p. 335–342.
This thorough review formed the evidential basis for recent guidance from England's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on how best to distribute sterile syringes. Maximising the proportion of injections done with sterile equipment is the key objective.

DOCUMENT 2014 HTM file
Needle and syringe programmes

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2014.
The UK’s health advisory body recommends high coverage and if need be, 24-hour needle exchange to combat HIV and the hepatitis C epidemic. The aim they say is for every injector to have even more sterile injecting equipment than they need for every single injection.

STUDY 2012 HTM file
A comparison of syringe disposal practices among injection drug users in a city with versus a city without needle and syringe programs

Tookes H.E., Kral A.H., Wenger L.D. et al.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence: 2012, 123(1–3), p. 255–299.
A major concern about needle exchanges is that after use the injecting equipment they supply will be left unsafely disfiguring public areas, but this US study based on a comparison between San Francisco (has legal exchanges) and Miami (exchanges illegal) strongly suggests the opposite.

DOCUMENT 2013 HTM file
Delivering recovery. Independent expert review of opioid replacement therapies in Scotland

Scottish Drug Strategy Delivery Commission.
The Scottish Government, 2013.
An expert committee responds to the Scottish government’s concerns over the role of methadone prescribing in helping patients along the Road to Recovery signposted in the national strategy. On the ground, that road was often barely constructed but methadone was not the problem, rather the failure to optimise programmes for recovery.

REVIEW 2009 HTM file
Alcohol and drug screening of occupational drivers for preventing injury

Cashman C.M., Ruotsalainen J., Greiner B.A. et al.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: 2009, 2, Art. No.: CD006566.
Exhaustive search finds just two rigorous studies of workplace testing for alcohol and/or drug use of people employed as drivers. For drugs there was some evidence of a long-term effect in averting injuries and deaths but in respect of both drugs and alcohol the evidence was too thin to support any particular policy.

STUDY 2012 HTM file
Does school ethos explain the relationship between value-added education and teenage substance use? A cohort study

Markham W.A., Young R., Sweeting H. et al.
Social Science and Medicine: 2012, 75, p. 69–76.
Intriguing findings from Glasgow on what it is about a school which helps protect pupils from less socially accepted substance use: in this case, engaging schools with good teacher-pupil relationships but, unlike in England, not those which (given their pupils and areas) excel academically and in eliminating truancy. Connection is it seems the key.

STUDY 2012 HTM file
Naltrexone implant for the treatment of polydrug dependence: a randomized controlled trial

Tiihonen J., Krupitsky E., Verbitskaya E. et al.
American Journal of Psychiatry: 2012, 169(5); p. 531–536.
Would dually addicted heroin and stimulant users fitted with an opiate-blocking naltrexone implant simply escalate their stimulant use? The issue is important because multi-drug use is the norm. In this Finnish-Russian study it was the reverse – amphetamine use decreased as well as heroin use.

STUDY 2012 HTM file
The impact of take-home naloxone distribution and training on opiate overdose knowledge and response: an evaluation of the THN Project in Wales

Bennett T., Holloway K.
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy: 2012, 19(4), p. 320–328.
The evaluation which led to the Welsh national programme to distribute naloxone to opiate users and their associates to curb rising overdose deaths, one of several UK studies to give momentum to this peer-based strategy.

STUDY 2011 HTM file
Impact of training for healthcare professionals on how to manage an opioid overdose with naloxone: effective, but dissemination is challenging

Mayet S., Manning V., Williams A. et al
International Journal of Drug Policy: 2011, 22, p. 9–15.
Training for addiction treatment staff in managing overdose using naloxone, seeded in London by the National Addiction Centre, 'cascaded' to other staff and to patients at a disappointingly slow pace; on average each clinician trainee trained one drug user every 11 months.

REVIEW 2012 HTM file
Consideration of naloxone

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
[UK] Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, 2012.
The UK’s official drugs law and policy advisory body recommends that alongside training, the opiate-blocker naloxone be made more widely and easily available to enable drug users and those who work and associate with them to prevent opiate overdose deaths.

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