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Injecting Advice

Harm Reduction Practice

NSPs in a Recovery Orientated System

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Whilst there is absolutely no suggestion that Needle & Syringe Programmes (NSPs) and other harm reduction initiatives will disappear under recovery-orientated modalities, this article argues that although NSPs are rarely discussed in contextual relationship with recovery, their low-threshold, open-access structure position them as fundamental and critical elements of a recovery orientated treatment system.

Anthrax Update

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As the anthrax situation worsens and we get the first cases appearing in England (London and Blackpool) there is still a lot of confusion over the finer details of the outbreak, especially the lack of details ‘released’ on the routes of drug administration.

Pharmacy and Attitudes

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I’ve had a couple of conversations this week about the way some people feel they are treated in pharmacies when they collect needles. This is something that comes up from time to time, both when I’m talking to people who inject and also when I’m talking to pharmacy staff. It’s even something I cover when […]

Anthrax Infected Heroin

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At the time of writing this there have been 7 deaths and 14 people are in hospital with infections related to anthrax in Scotland. The current official advice from Health Protection Scotland’s Dr Colin Ramsey has been “… I would urge all users to stop using heroin immediately and contact local drug support services for help in stopping.”, which as advice goes has been less than helpful. But what (if any) are the messages that should be given out, and just how worried should we be?

Quitting for the New Year

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It’s that time again, New Year – a time for resolutions and changes. Like everybody else our people who come to needle programmes resolutions tend to be focused on quitting bad habits. Which is of course something we can really encourage, helping them get the support they need to maintain change. But there are other things to bear in mind as well.

Open Source Harm Reduction

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We need to stay up to date with harm reduction advice, and it’s all well and good being up to date on an individual basis but what about the information we hand out? Are you still giving out that leaflet that was written 5-6 years ago? Of course you are.

Overdose and Trust

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Do you trust the people you use with? It’s a simple question really, but for a lot of people it’s a lot harder to answer that you’d think. Every injecting relationship has to have a level of trust.

The Sharing Question

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Every drug worker asks the question “Have you shared injecting equipment?”. It helps us measure risk factors for issues like HepC, we need it for our stats (its one of the questions the National Treatment Agency insists we ask), and it has a lot of associated harm reduction advice.

Peer Supply and Social Capital

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At a conference I was recently at there was lots of talk about peer supply of injecting equipment and it’s clear that engaging networks of injecting drug users to help with self distribution of equipment is a great way to increase the quantity of sterile equipment available. However for some people (it seemed mainly to be some service managers) the concept seemed full of problems. Hopefully this article might help with at least one of them.

Steroid ‘Spot Injecting’

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Spot injecting is when people who use steroids inject into a smaller muscle rather than the glute or thigh. For instance injecting into the deltoid. When you ask people why they are doing this you’ll get an answer along the lines of, “I want to get my arms bigger”. A basic understanding of the human body will tell you that this isn’t how it works.
 

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