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‘How can the design of drug consumption rooms be optimised to maximise their benefits?’ – a question that has tended to be overlooked in the wider debate about whether consumption rooms should be established in the first place. The featured study goes inside North America’s first women-only safer injecting facility, which emerged in response to an epidemic of fatal drug overdoses and an epidemic of violence against women.
DOCUMENT 2021 HTM file
Wound aware: a resource for commissioners and providers of drug services
People who inject drugs are at risk of serious and potentially life-threatening wounds. In new guidance, Public Health England describes how drug services can be ‘wound aware’ by adopting three key characteristics.
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.
STUDY 2019 HTM file
ACT pill testing trial 2019: program evaluation
Independent evaluation suggests reasons to have confidence in the harm reduction benefits of ‘pill testing’. However, the narrow scope of the drug testing service adopted at this Australian festival may not have been adequately understood by stakeholders.
Did Florida’s first needle exchange programme result in fewer items of used injecting equipment being left in public places? The answer comes from a walkthrough of Miami neighbourhoods and interviews with people who inject drugs before and after the programme opened its doors.
A UK-based project placed a dedicated full-time hepatitis C nurse into a drug and alcohol treatment service. The experiences of people who inject drugs and attended the service reveal the degree to which this strategy can remove barriers to the infection treatment so crucial to containing the virus.
Emergency department physicians regularly treat people who have had an opioid overdose, but they may not be making the most of the opportunity to provide take-home naloxone. Can a prompt in the patients’ electronic health records boost prescribing of this lifesaving ‘overdose antidote’?
HOT TOPIC 2020 HTM file
Time for safer injecting spaces in Britain?
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Drug consumption rooms are a particularly contentious form of harm reduction, viewed on one hand as a practical, humane, life-saving approach to dangerous drug use, and on the other, as an endorsement of drugtaking and a dereliction of the duty to treat people dependent on drugs.
For people who share injecting equipment, ‘low dead space’ syringes may lead to a reduced risk of becoming infected with blood-borne viruses by limiting the volume of fluid that is drawn up but not injected. However, they may not (yet) be suitable for all types of injectors or injections.
How does an intervention designed to enhance coordination and continuity of services, known as ‘case management’, compare to treatment as usual? Is there any evidence to suggest that it can directly or indirectly improve recovery outcomes?
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