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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.
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’?
How do different pathways for the treatment of problem opioid use compare under real-world conditions? For US patients with health insurance, opioid substitution therapy was associated with the greatest risk reduction. However, its protective effect may not be fully realised while federal and insurance plan restrictions continue to limit access to this treatment option.
In the Canadian province of British Columbia there was a rapid rise in overdose deaths from 2015, leading to the declaration of a public health emergency in 2016. The response rested on three key interventions: take-home naloxone, opioid substitution therapy, and drug consumption rooms. The province’s highly detailed surveillance data offered an opportunity to estimate their collective and individual impacts on opioid overdose deaths.
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”.
REVIEW 2019 HTM file
Supervised consumption sites: a nuanced assessment of the causal evidence
How high should the evidence bar be set when deciding whether to endorse drug consumption rooms?
In a year when drug-related deaths in the UK had peaked, a pioneering study of drug safety testing was conducted on festival grounds. Its impact on drug-related harm was measured at various levels, including drug-related hospital admissions, behaviours of 230 people who received harm reduction advice, and actions that stakeholders took after receiving information about drugs being mis-sold or contaminated.
Opioid substitution therapy is a safe and effective approach for suppressing illicit opioid use. Helping to guide optimal provision, this review investigates the relative effects of methadone and buprenorphine on the rate of mortality over time.
At issue was whether by successfully referring heroin users to treatment, probation services in England would protect them from fatal overdose and prevent drug-related crime. Yes to one, but not the other, were the answers; in fact, crime went up.
How confident can we be that take-home naloxone programmes are effective without the ‘gold standard’ randomised trial? Judged against nine criteria for establishing the presumption of causality, evidence that the provision of naloxone reduces overdose-related deaths among opioid users.
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