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STUDY 2008 HTM file
Adequate needle exchange helps prevent bacterial as well as viral infections
US study suggest that needle exchanges which make adequate supplies of injecting equipment plus advice easily accessible not only prevent viral infections but also bacterial infections and abscesses, relieving a major burden on health services.
What happens when city authorities ask retail and service premises to host syringe disposal bins in their toilets? There were misgivings, but when the bins meant customers and staff could avoid discarded syringes, they were welcomed and retained, safely disposing of over 2000 syringes a month.
STUDY 2008 HTM file
High risk of overdose death for opiate detoxification completers
Findings from Italy and Australia warn that detoxification without throughgoing stabilisation, preparation and aftercare is too often a band-aid measure which risks more harm then good.
REVIEW 2008 HTM file
Opioid substitution therapy in prisons: reviewing the evidence
Brief but thoroughly researched review commends prison methadone programmes as causing no substantial problems while improving the climate in prison, reducing drug use and infection risk behaviours, and improving post-release treatment uptake and recidivism rates.
REVIEW 2008 HTM file
Needle and syringe programs and bleach in prisons: reviewing the evidence
Brief but thoroughly researched review argues that prison needle exchange is among the best ways to contain the potential for rapid spread of HIV infection in prison and possibly too in the community after prisoners are released.
Limited access to opiate substitute prescribing in Norway opened a window on its powerful lifesaving potential, a view obscured in countries where barriers create a confounding selection effect or where everyone who needs and wants this treatment can quickly get it.
European and US studies show that methadone patients stick with therapy for hepatitis C disease and do as well as other patients, bolstering the case for drug services to encourage clients to consider diagnostic testing and therapy.
After needle exchanges started distributing crack smoking equipment, drug injectors in Ottawa shifted from injecting to smoking the drug and less often shared their smoking equipment. The result was safer drug use and greater service contact by crack smokers.
US figures show that testing needle exchange users for hepatitis B and at the same time starting a short course of vaccinations (the UK model) saves lives and thousands of health service dollars, but UK exchanges have lagged behind in offering these services.
Comprehensive and thoughtful review of the UK-relevant literature warns that services which impose rigid and unrealistic expectations of abstinence or independent living on homeless addicts would deny treatment and housing to vulnerable adults with complex needs.
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