Posted on July 28th, 2014 No comments
Up to 50,000 people in Ireland are estimated to be infected with hepatitis C, however many of these have not been diagnosed and therefore remain untreated.
The HSE is today urging anyone who may be at risk of hepatitis C to seek help and get tested as it is estimated that between 20,000 and 50,000 people in Ireland are chronically infected with hepatitis C, more than half whom are not aware of the infection.
Effective testing and treatment are available, according to consultant hepatologist, Dr Stephen Stewart, speaking on behalf of the HSE National Hepatitis C Implementation Group, to mark World Hepatitis Day 2014, which takes place today.
“About 1,000 new cases are notified each year and Irish health services will come under further pressure in the future if we don’t actively work to prevent new cases occurring and diagnose and treat the cases that have already occurred.
“Hepatitis C is often called ‘the silent pandemic’, because many patients are infected without knowing it and may only present in the very late stages when cirrhosis has already been established..
“A minority– estimated at 20-30% -develop cirrhosis of the liver, which typically appears two or three decades after infection. Those patients also suffer a higher risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer. The healthcare costs of these ‘end-stage conditions’ of hepatitis C can be substantial. They are the leading cause of liver transplants worldwide, including in Europe, the US and Japan.
“Anyone who may have put themselves at risk of hepatitis C, either through current activities or due to a past lifestyle should visit their GP and get tested. While the majority of hepatitis C infections are related to injecting drug use, hepatitis C can also be acquired by any blood to blood contact,” said Dr Stewart. “Diagnostic tests are now relatively simple and the treatments are getting better and better with time”.
The HSE has produced a number of campaign materials including posters and videos urging people to ‘seek help, get tested’
World Hepatitis Day is an annual event, endorsed by the World Health Organization. Each year it provides international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C and provides an opportunity for interested groups to raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.
Prostitution and drugs accounted for €1.258bn to the country’s economic activity last year, according to the Central Statistics Office, which is refusing to divulge how it estimates the economic impact of illegal activity.
The Government has been forced to revise how it accounts for economic activity following a new regulation from the EU Commission requiring all member states to include the ‘black market’ in their final tally.
In the case of Ireland, 2013 nominal GDP increased from €164.1bn to €174.8bn. The narcotics and prostitution trades accounted for €1.258bn of this increase.
Welcome to the second issue of Drug Education Advocate (DEA), produced by local activist group Belfast Experts By Experience (BEBE). In synch with the principles of BEBE, DEA seeks to challenge negative representations of drug users, promote harm reduction principles and act as a vessel for sharing knowledge between local and international harm reductionists.
In June 2013 we launched the first issue of DEA at a Harm Reduction Café in Belfast (see article in centre page for details). The short history of DEA is fraught with excitement, frustration, exhaustion and a lot of craic. When we started out to produce a magazine we had no idea where it would lead us and definitely had no idea how much work it would entail.
This bulletin presents key findings regarding polydrug use (the use of more than one substance within a specific time period) in Ireland. These are based on the drug prevalence survey of households in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
A representative sample of adults aged between 15 and 64 years was sampled during late 2010 and early 2011. The bulletin presents prevalence rates for combinations of both legal and illegal drug use for the Republic of Ireland and also examines gender and age differences and the relationship between the use of a particular substance and the use of another substance. The survey was carried out according to standards set by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
Posted on June 19th, 2014 No comments
Posted on May 8th, 2014 No comments
Posted on May 6th, 2014 No comments
Due to the recent increase in publicity regarding the tanning substance Melanotan a brief survey was undertaken to gather further information about the prevalence of Melanotan injecting in Ireland .
Posted on May 6th, 2014 No comments
This audit tool has been written by Dr. Adam Winstock & Tim Bingham. If its decided to use this within your drugs service we advise you to seek clinical governance with the clinical team
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions
Posted on May 2nd, 2014 No comments
There were 225 notifications of hepatitis C in quarter 3 2013. This corresponds to a crude notification rate of 4.9 per 100,000 population. This is slightly higher than the 187 cases notified in Q2, but similar to Q1 (n=248). Hepatitis C notifications decreased significantly in 2012 (18%) and in 2013 to date (18%).
Information on most likely risk factor was available for 58% (n=131) of cases in Q3. Seventy percent (n=91) of these were injecting drug users
Posted on April 25th, 2014 No comments
This survey is aimed at drug services which is being conducted by Tim Bingham and Professor Fiona Measham of Durham University. The aim of the survey is to assess the impact of the Novel Psychoactive Substance Act on services and clients.
*Novel Psychoactive Substances includes any new substances or ‘legal highs’ regardless of legal status
We would really appreciate it if you could spend a few minutes completing this survey