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What would happen to rates of infection with hepatitis C if we closed down all the needle exchanges? In three UK municipalities, the answers were predicted to be more infections, lost low-cost opportunities to improve and save lives, and in two of the areas, greater health-related costs overall. Conclusion was that these services are among the best investments UK health services can make. town
How can testing and treatment for hepatitis C be optimised in custodial settings? Prisons in the North East of England trialled new care pathways including a universal offer of testing using less invasive procedures and treatment facilitated by digital technology.
Serious bacterial infections are among the most common medical complications in people who inject drugs. Study asks whether an intervention targeting hand washing, injection site skin cleaning, and needle cleaning could reduce the burden, using as its key measure the rate of visits to the emergency department.
At issue was whether among men in treatment for substance use problems the standard one session of HIV education could be improved on by five sessions including motivational exercises and skills training. In the short term there were greater reductions in sex under the influence but these did not last.
Across this large US study, injectors responded to sexual risk-reduction counselling as well as non-injectors; the evidence was there a year later in fewer infections. But why was what should have been the strongest intervention actually the weakest among this group, yet not among non-injectors?
SERIES OF ARTICLES 2001 PDF file 3944Kb
Overdosing on opiates
The most thorough review to date of the greatest risk posed by illegal drug use in Britain. An international team of authors analyses the causes and how to prevent opiate overdose deaths.
REVIEW 2000 PDF file 2709Kb
Overdosing on opiates part I: causes
The most thorough review to date of the greatest risk posed by illegal drug use in Britain. An international team of authors analyses the causes and finds they go way beyond just taking too much. Includes in the “The Swedish experience” on p. 6 of PDF early studies which established methadone’s lifesaving potential.
REVIEW 2001 PDF file 1041Kb
Overdosing on opiates part II: prevention
Based on a painstaking analysis of the causes of opiate overdose, an international team investigate ways to curb the increasing death rate. Key message: the deaths are preventable, and preventing them is within our reach. All it takes is some stretching.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
The National Drug Related Deaths Database (Scotland) report 2009
New database offering in-depth information on drug deaths in Scotland reveals that 60% of cases had been in contact with drug treatment services, nearly 40% in the past six months, suggesting that there had been chances to intervene which for these patients had been insufficient to avoid death.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
An evaluation of a heroin overdose prevention and education campaign
Faced with rapidly increasing heroin overdose deaths, the Australian state of Victoria mounted a media campaign targeted at drug users via treatment and needle exchange services. The results illuminate the limitations of such campaigns as much as their plus points.
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