Posted on February 12th, 2014 No comments
This thirteenth annual report from the national programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (np-SAD) presents information on drug-related deaths that occurred during 2011 and for which coronial inquests and similar formal investigations have been completed. The Programme’s principal function is to provide high-quality and consistent surveillance, and to detect and identify emerging trends and issues in respect of this phenomenon. In this way, it contributes to the reduction and prevention of drug-related deaths in
the UK due to the misuse of both licit and illicit drugs.
The data and analysis in this report is intended to inform government, and relevant bodies, such as the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and authorities at the local, regional, and national country levels, as well as health professionals and the general public, about the serious consequences of drug abuse.
Posted on January 27th, 2014 No comments
In the eight-year period 2004–2011 a total of 4,606 deaths by drug poisoning and deaths among drug users met the criteria for inclusion in the NDRDI database. Of these deaths, 2,745 were due to poisoning and 1,861 were deaths among drug users (non-poisoning) (Table 1).
The annual number of deaths in 2011 increased to 607, compared to 597 in 2010. The 2011 figure is likely to be revised when new data become available (Table 1)
Speech by Alex White TD Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care National Drugs Strategy Conference Dublin CastlePosted on January 20th, 2014 No comments
16th January 2014, 9.45am
Good morning Ladies and Gentleman. I am very pleased so many of you have been able to join us this morning, especially people who have travelled some distance to be here. Today’s conference is designed to offer a practical opportunity for the advancement of our common goals and objectives, and I am sure it will be of great benefit to us all.
Can I, at the outset, thank the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, for his introductory remarks and for agreeing to open our conference this morning; I’m delighted he was able to join us given his busy schedule. I am extremely grateful for his commitment, and that of the Government, to the National Drugs Strategy, and I thank him for his words of encouragement as we face into our morning’s work.
Today’s conference is the culmination of an extended period of consultation and reflection. My intention is that it will afford us all the chance to reflect on how we can collaborate effectively under our new structures, and begin to plan for how best we can address new and emerging issues in drug addiction and alcohol misuse.
Posted on January 17th, 2014 No comments
Use of the femoral vein for the injection of illicit drugs (i.e. groin injecting) has been linked to various health-related harms, including deep vein thrombosis. However, little is known about the prevalence of groin injecting and factors that predict this practice among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Thailand. The researchers sought to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with groin injecting in Bangkok, Thailand.
Over one-third of our sample of Thai PWID reported recent groin injecting. Frequent midazolam injection and higher education were found to be associated with groin injecting. That high intensity drug users were more likely to inject in the groin is concerning given the known negative consequences associated with the groin as a site of injection. Additionally, PWID who reported drug planting by police were more likely to inject in the groin, suggesting that reliance on law enforcement approaches may undermine safe injection practices in this setting. These findings highlight the need for evidence-based interventions to address the harms associated with groin injecting including efforts to alert PWID to risks of groin injecting, the distribution of appropriate injecting equipment, and efforts to encourage use of other injecting sites.
Posted on January 16th, 2014 No comments
Montreal will soon be home to four supervised injection sites. The sites, announced in December 2013, will include three permanent locations in already existing clinics across the city, as well as one mobile clinic to serve the Montreal area.
The news comes after a decade-long struggle between the Canadian federal government and the Quebec-based organizations that have been advocating for supervised injection sites (SIS) in Montreal ever since the first site, Insite Vancouver, was established in 2003.
SISs are places where injection-drug users can go to obtain clean needles and dispose of used ones. Additionally, social workers and on-site emergency medical attention are available to users if needed. These sites are part of an approach known as harm reduction, which involves programs that provide safe spaces and medical services for drug users in a nonjudgmental and non-coercive manner.
Since its inception, Insite has operated under an exemption to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, allowing it to legally provide help to drug users.
Inspired by Insite, Montreal-based organizations, such as Association pour la Défense des Droits et l’Inclusion des personnes qui Consomment des drogues du Québec (ADDICQ) and CACTUS Montreal, began campaigning for SISs in 2003. However, they were unable to obtain the same exemption that Insite was given, and thus had little hope of creating the sites. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that Insite was a necessary service, said Sylvain Côté of ADDICQ, a community-based organization that provides support for injection drug users.
Barriers and facilitators of hepatitis C screening among people who inject drugs: a multi-city, mixed-methods studyPosted on January 16th, 2014 No comments
People who inject drugs (PWID) are at high risk of contracting and transmitting and hepatitis C virus (HCV). While accurate screening tests and effective treatment are increasingly available, prior research indicates that many PWID are unaware of their HCV status.
The results suggest that drug-injecting individuals who reside in non-urban settings, who have poor access to primary care, or who have less education may encounter significant barriers to routine HCV screening. Expanded access to primary health care and prevention services, especially in non-urban areas, could address an unmet need for individuals at high risk for HCV.
Report on the current state of play of the 2003 Council Recommendation on the prevention and reduction of health-related harm, associated with drug dependence, in the EU and candidate countriesPosted on January 13th, 2014 No comments
The report on the current state of play of the Council Recommendation of 18 June 2003 on the prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug dependence has been finalised. The report results of the work of experts from Gesundheit Österreich Forschungs- und Planungs GmbH and SOGETI, in close collaboration with EAHC, EMCDDA, DG SANCO, and DG JUST.
It presents the updated overview of the implementation of the Council Recommendation in the EU countries and several candidate countries, including country profiles, as well as analyses of epidemiological trends. The study also assesses the availability of – access to- and -coverage of- harm reduction measures based on the answers to a policy survey and a survey among field organisations.
The available scientific evidence regarding interventions to prevent and reduce health-harms associated with drug dependence was analysed and in addition four systematic Literature Reviews (peer naloxone programs, prison release management, needle exchange in prison, measures to change the route of administration) were produced. Finally, the report provides country overviews on harm reduction policies, services and facilities.
Posted on December 18th, 2013 No comments
The online promotion of ‘drug shopping’ and user information networks is of increasing public health and law enforcement concern. An online drug marketplace called ‘Silk Road’ has been operating on the ‘Deep Web’ since February 2011 and was designed to revolutionise contemporary drug consumerism.
Methods: A single case study approach explored a ‘Silk Road’ user’s motives for online drug purchasing, experiences of accessing and using the website, drug information sourcing, decision making and purchasing, outcomes and settings for use, and perspectives around security.
The participant was recruited following a lengthy relationship building phase on the ‘Silk Road’ chat forum. Results: The male participant described his motives, experiences of purchasing processes and drugs used from ‘Silk Road’. Consumer experiences on ‘Silk Road’ were described as ‘euphoric’ due to the wide choice of drugs available, relatively easy once navigating the Tor Browser (encryption software) and using ‘Bitcoins’ for transactions, and perceived as safer than negotiating illicit drug markets. Online researching of drug outcomes, particularly for new psychoactive substances was reported. Relationships between vendors and consumers were described as based on cyber levels of trust and professionalism, and supported by ‘stealth modes’, user feedback and resolution modes. The reality of his drug use was described as covert and solitary with psychonautic characteristics, which contrasted with his membership, participation and feelings of safety within the ‘Silk Road’ community.
Conclusion: ‘Silk Road’ as online drug marketplace presents an interesting displacement away from ‘traditional’ online and street sources of drug supply. Member support and harm reduction ethos within this virtual community maximises consumer decision-making and positive drug experiences, and minimises potential harms and consumer perceived risks. Future research is necessary to explore experiences and backgrounds of other users.
Posted on December 18th, 2013 No comments
Social Inclusion plays a key role in supporting equity of access to services and provides targeted interventions to improve the health outcomes of minority groups which encompass Irish Travellers, Roma, and other members of divers ethnic and cultural groups, such as asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service users.
Specific interventions are provided to address addiction issues, homelessness and medical complexities. Members of
these groups characteristically present with a complex range of health and support needs which require multi-agency
and multi-faceted interventions. The Health Service promotes and leads on integrated approaches on different levels
across statutory and voluntary sectors. A critical success factor is the continued development of integrated care
planning and case management approaches between all relevant agencies and service providers.
Key Priorities with Actions to Deliver in 2014
- Achieve improved health outcomes for persons with addiction issues.
- Deliver on the national policy objectives of the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016, with specific reference
- to progressing implementation of relevant actions on early intervention, treatment and rehabilitation.
- Implement recommendations from Health Service Opioid Treatment Protocol.
- Implement recommendations of Tier 4 (Residential Addiction Services Report) within the context of available resources.
- Evaluate the Pharmacy Needle Exchange Programme and make recommendations.
- Finalise the implementation plan for the National Overdose Prevention Strategy.
- Prioritise and implement Health Service actions in the Report of the Steering Group on a National Substance
- Misuse Strategy.
- Implement recommendations of the National Hepatitis C Strategy according to updated time frames and in line with existing resource constraints.
- Implement the specific health aspects of a housing-led approach to homelessness in line with the new National Homelessness Policy Statement.
- Improve access to services for people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds within the context of the
- Health Service National Intercultural Health Strategy.
- Improve health outcomes for members of the Traveller Community in line with the All-Ireland Traveller Health Study
A Costly Turn On”: Patterns of use and perceived consequences of mephedrone based head shop products amongst Irish injectorsPosted on December 17th, 2013 No comments
Mephedrone injecting has recently been reported in Romania, Slovenia, Guernsey and Ireland. The research reported here aimed to describe the experiences of a group of Irish injecting drug users, who were injecting mephedrone based headshop products prior to the introduction of legislative controls in Ireland, with particular focus on pre- and post-legislative use, effects of injecting mephedrone, settings and contexts for injecting, polydrug use and serial drug injecting, risk perceptions and harm reduction practises.