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DOCUMENT 2020 HTM file
Guidance on contingency planning for people who use drugs and COVID-19 (v1.0)
How can needle exchange services and opioid substitution therapy be safeguarded in the midst of a novel viral outbreak? Scottish Guidance considers potential disruptions to delivery, and suggests ways of ensuring continuity of services when best practice or ‘service as usual’ might be out of the question.
What would happen to rates of infection with hepatitis C if we closed down all the needle exchanges? In three UK municipalities, the answers were predicted to be more infections, lost low-cost opportunities to improve and save lives, and in two of the areas, greater health-related costs overall. Conclusion was that these services are among the best investments UK health services can make. town
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.
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.
STUDY 2018 HTM file
Impact of current and scaled-up levels of hepatitis C prevention and treatment interventions for people who inject drugs in three UK settings – what is required to achieve the WHO’s HCV elimination targets?
What would it take for the UK to meet the World Health Organization’s target of a 90% reduction in hepatitis C by 2030? According to projections in three diverse areas, current levels of harm reduction services are averting a great deal of transmission, and adding only moderate rates of treatment for hepatitis C would put Britain on course to achieve the elimination target.
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.
MATRIX CELL 2017 HTM file
Drug Treatment Matrix cell D1: Organisational functioning; Reducing harm
Seminal and key studies on the influence of the organisation on reducing drug-related harm.
MATRIX CELL 2017 HTM file
Drug Treatment Matrix cell E1: Local and national systems; Reducing harm
Seminal and key studies relating to local, regional and national systems for effectively and cost-effectively reducing harm.
Lower-risk needle and syringe combinations seem acceptable to people who inject drugs in England, but given that a sudden change in equipment can be difficult to adjust to, their gradual introduction seems best, alongside an intervention to educate and support.
HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Hepatitis C ‘giant’ still growing
One of our selection of hot topics – important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. For a time it seemed impossible to reverse the epidemic of injecting-related hepatitis C infection. Now we know that aided by new treatments which clear the infection, it can be done – but will we?
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