Skip to main content

Injecting Advice

The United Kingdom’s first unsanctioned overdose prevention site; A proof-of-concept evaluation

Written by Nigel Brunsdon on . Posted in .

Research based on the overdose prevention site which was opened by Peter Krykant in Glasgow in 2020. With no financial or other support from local or national governmental agencies, he acquired a second-hand minibus and equipped it with basic first-aid equipment, needles and sterile equipment, and naloxone. It opened on 31st August 2020 (International Overdose Awareness Day), parked at a single site in Glasgow city centre.

Results

The service operated for nine months without permission or funding from official sources. We report on the 894 injections supervised and recorded, and nine successful interventions with overdose events (seven opioid/two cocaine). Powder cocaine injection predominated either alone (60.6%) or with heroin (22.1%). Injection was mostly in the groin (68.0%) or arm (16.8%). More injections were recorded by males (70.1%). Around 65% of injection events featured an individual who was on a buprenorphine/methadone prescription.

Conclusion

It is feasible for an overdose prevention service to operate successfully in the UK without being shut down by the police or with negative consequences for the community. Future sites in the UK must tailor to the substances used by their potential clients, international trends (e.g. for fentanyl use) did not apply here. There is an urgent need and demand for these services in the UK to reduce harm, prevent and intervene during overdose, and provide vital psychosocial support for health and wellbeing in a highly marginalised population.

Writer: Nigel Brunsdon

Nigel Brunsdon is the owner of Injecting Advice. He’s been working in harm reduction since the 1990’s, previously a frontline needle programme worker he now splits his time between photography and developing online resources for drugs workers and users.

Nigel Brunsdon

You might also like

Responding to Blue Lights

Written on . Posted in .
In this article I would like to provide advice, information and a suggested ‘action plan’ for practitioners who may have concerns about existing/planned blue lights in their particular area/setting.

Quitting for the New Year

Written on . Posted in .
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 …

Stop Saying ‘Clean’

Written on . Posted in .
I’ve been thinking of this for awhile, I want to ban the word ‘clean’ from drug services, granted it’s only a word so you might think I’m just being picky, but words like this carry both a lot of power and a wide range of meanings.