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Until June 2008 Victoria in Canada had a comprehensive extended hours needle exchange at a fixed site in the city. Neighbourhood pressure led to closure, creating a natural experiment in the withdrawal of services. The result seemed to be more sharing of injecting equipment entailing a greater risk of infection.
STUDY 2012 HTM file
Estimating the cost-effectiveness of needle-syringe programs in Australia
Latest mathematical model from Australia probably broadly applicable also to the UK suggests that needle and syringe programmes have cost-effectively saved/improved lives, and in the long run save the health service money due to averted HIV and hepatitis C infections. But in both countries adequately curbing hepatitis C requires much more.
In the US homeland of competition and private health care, it was cooperation and coordination which led to the introduction of new medications and innovations to promote continuing care – plus the exercise of regulatory and financial muscle and the salutary experience of senior staff who placed themselves in the patient's shoes.
The safer injecting facility in Vancouver prevented overdose deaths but only in areas nearest the service, suggesting that often several facilities will be needed to make a city-wide impact.
REVIEW 2010 HTM file
Cost-effectiveness of family-based substance abuse treatment
For suitable patients, family-based therapies are among the most effective – but are they the most cost-effective? Not always finds this US-focused review, which argues that to compete in today's financially sensitive health care system, treatments must deliver the most clinical outcomes per unit of cost.
Study published by UK government estimates that every £1 spent on specialist substance misuse treatment for under-18s in Britain averts social costs totalling £4.66–£8.38.
Trends in hepatitis C infection among recent initiates to drug injecting in England between 2004 (when a national action plan was launched) and 2008 indicate the importance of reinvigorating and improving the coverage of harm reduction measures such as needle exchange and substitute prescribing.
DOCUMENT 2010 HTM file
Drug misuse statistics Scotland 2010
Statistical picture of drug misuse in Scotland in 2009 and 2010 including treatment and criminal justice caseloads and health impacts, plus trends over recent years.
DOCUMENT 2010 HTM file
The Patel report: Reducing drug-related crime and rehabilitating offenders
Investigation and recommendations from an expert group on drug treatment and interventions for people in prison in England calls for a clear focus on recovery and for the commissioning and coordination measures needed to improve outcomes without extra resources.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
Problem drug users’ experiences of employment and the benefit system
Substantial barriers to employment were revealed by interviews with problem drug users in England currently or recently in treatment and with staff who worked with drug users. Includes review of relevant international research.
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