Robert Heimer, William Zule and Andrew Preston talk about the importance of low dead space syringes for blood borne virus prevention.
Author: Nigel Brunsdon
Scottish Drugs Forum in conjunction with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Frontier Medical have created a new advice booklet for people injecting New Psychoative Substances (NPS). The guide is intended to inform people of the risks associated with injecting NPS, drugs commonly called legal highs, or any unidentified white powders.
Printed copies of the booklets are free to access in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Avril Taylors “Examining the injecting practices of injecting drug users in Scotland” report details the results of her work looking at HCV risk factors in injectors.
The aim of the study was to examine the injecting practices of Scottish injecting drug users to a degree of detail not previously achieved in the UK. The specific focus was practices that could potentially facilitate the transmission of HCV infection. Risk practices other than the direct sharing of needles and syringes were of special interest as these are not so well understood.
This guidance makes recommendations on needle and syringe programmes, including those provided by pharmacies and drugs services for adults and young people (including those under 16) who inject drugs, including image- and performance-enhancing drugs.
The main aim of needle and syringe programmes is to reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses and other infections caused by sharing injecting equipment, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C. In turn, this will reduce the prevalence of blood-borne viruses and bacterial infections, so benefiting wider society. Many needle and syringe programmes also aim to reduce the other harms caused by drug use.
The guidance is for directors of public health, commissioners, providers of needle and syringe programmes and related services, and those with a remit for infectious disease prevention. In addition, it may be of interest to members of the public.
On a recent trip to the US Emily got the chance to talk to Allan Clear about his role as Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Coalition, or as she puts it “the boss of the bosses”.
Last week I was invited to speak at the National Service User Involvement Conference in Birmingham. The conference was attended by between 500 and 600 people and I was talking about naloxone. You might not think it, but presentations like this are stressful and remembering why is important.
Although originally I was asked to run a small workshop, this was changed a week before to 15 minutes on the main stage and on the day this was reduced further to 10 minutes. But that’s fine – I’m a fast talker.
I’d spent a few days working out how to open the talk, I was using a presentation similar to one I’d given previously but with enough changes to mean that I was delivering something ‘new’. I didn’t write down the exact wording of my opening but it was similar to this:
So I have 10 minutes and if I do this right more of you will think naloxone is something to fight for… and that means more people will live. If I get this wrong though and I don’t manage to convince you, then more people are going to die. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a bald fat guys head, but here goes.
So, I was under pressure, but it’s nothing new. Every time one of us passes on a piece of harm reduction information or advice, every time we speak at a conference, on a training day or even just have 2 minutes with someone in a needle programme we should remember this pressure. What we say and the way we say it matters.
That 2 minutes in the needle programme might just change someone’s life, you might convince someone that change is possible, or give them the knowledge to help a friend who is overdosing.
So take some time to make sure you know what you should say and get good at saying it.
Greg Scott and I discuss barriers to naloxone distribution. This includes the legal barriers in some countries as well as the more localised barriers caused by petty bureaucracy and stalling.
Sarah Hiley talks about how it feels to be working in a supervised injecting centre. This video was filmed when Sarah worked at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney, she now have moved to working in the injecting room in Melbourne, making her the only person to have once worked at all the injecting centres in the southern hemisphere at the same time.
This presentation on the importance of families being involved with naloxone advocacy was delivered to the ADFAM Families First conference in 2013. This presentation includes an embedded version of the ‘Naloxone in the Family‘ film which can be viewed on this site separately.
In this the second part of this conversation with Stephen, Emily got the chance to ask him about the work he does around naloxone advocacy. (Note: this film was recorded while Stephen was in a previous post with the Scottish Drugs Forum).