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For prison populations with multiple risk factors for acquiring hepatitis C, can a peer-supported screening programme improve the uptake of testing and treatment?
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.
Strong evidence from two US cities that moving from a blanket prohibition on possession of equipment for injecting illegal drugs to providing this equipment via legal needle and syringe programmes prevented thousands of HIV infections, resulting in large savings in the treatment of these infections.
HOT TOPIC 2020 HTM file
‘Dignity first’: improving the lives of homeless people who drink and take drugs
One of our hot topics offering background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Putting people with experiences of homelessness and substance use problems at the centre of social policy, this hot topic asks what solutions would look like if they prioritised saving lives and improving lives.
A Danish programme targeted potential bystanders of opioid overdoses, providing training and supplies of the ‘overdose antidote’ naloxone. People who use opioids were the most likely to intervene in an overdose situation, highlighting their positive role as “public health collaborators”.
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.
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?
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’?
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.
From the USA, a rare randomised trial found in favour of continuing methadone maintenance when patients entered prison rather than compulsory withdrawal. The potential benefits were most apparent in the near-100% continuation of protective treatment during the highly overdose-prone weeks after leaving prison.
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