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  • International Overdose Day App

    Posted on August 28th, 2014 TimB No comments

    The Overdose Aware app aims to raise awareness among those who are experiencing drug use and their families, of how to recognise overdose signs and respond accordingly.

    The app includes:

    • What is an overdose?
    • What to do if you suspect an overdose
    • Overdose symptoms for stimulants, depressants, alcohol and opioids
    • After an overdose – tolerance, half life and brain damage

    This app is for information only it does not constitute medical advice or take your specific situation into account. If you suspect someone has overdosed please call emergency services immediately.

    The Overdose Aware app was funded with the kind support of The William Buckland Foundation.

    Download Android 

    Download iphone

  • Rapid Decline in HCV Incidence among People Who Inject Drugs Associated with National Scale-Up in Coverage of a Combination of Harm Reduction Interventions

    Posted on August 21st, 2014 TimB No comments

    Government policy has precipitated recent changes in the provision of harm reduction interventions –injecting equipment provision (IEP) and opiate substitution therapy (OST) – for people who inject drugs (PWID) in Scotland.

    We sought to examine the potential impact of these changes on hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission among PWID. We used a framework to triangulate different types of evidence: ‘group-level/ecological’ and ‘individual-level’. Evidence was primarily generated from bio-behavioural cross-sectional surveys of PWID, undertaken during 2008-2012. Individuals in the window period (1–2 months) where the virus is present, but antibodies have not yet been formed, were considered to have recent infection. The survey data were supplemented with service data on the provision of injecting equipment and OST. Ecological analyses examined changes in intervention provision, self reported intervention uptake, self-reported risk behaviour and HCV incidence; individual-level analyses investigated relationships within the pooled survey data. Nearly 8,000 PWID were recruited in the surveys. We observed a decline in HCV incidence, per 100 person-years, from 13.6 (95% CI: 8.1–20.1) in 2008–09 to 7.3 (3.0–12.9) in 2011–12; a period during which increases in the coverage of OST and IEP, and decreases in the frequency of injecting and sharing of injecting equipment, were observed. Individual-level evidence demonstrated that combined high coverage of needles/syringes and OST were associated with reduced risk of recent HCV in analyses that were unweighted (AOR 0.29, 95%CI 0.11–0.74) and weighted for frequency of injecting (AORw 0.05, 95%CI 0.01–0.18).

    We estimate the combination of harm reduction interventions may have averted 1400 new HCV infections during 2008–2012.

    This is the first study to demonstrate that impressive reductions in HCV incidence can be achieved among PWID over a relatively short time period through high coverage of a combination of interventions.

    Download Full Paper

  • Up to 50,000 people in Ireland are estimated to be infected with hepatitis C

    Posted on July 28th, 2014 TimB 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’

    The posters are available at www.hse.ie/hepc and to download the National Hepatitis C Strategy 2011-2014

    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.

     

  • Sex and drugs help add €1.2bn to Irish GDP

    Posted on July 4th, 2014 TimB No comments

    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.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Drug Education Advocate – Belfast Experts By Experience

    Posted on July 4th, 2014 TimB No comments

     

    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.

    Download

     

  • Drug use in Ireland and Northern Ireland 2010/11 drug prevalence survey: polydrug use results.

    Posted on July 4th, 2014 TimB No comments

    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).

    Download

  • Harm reduction: It’s plain humanity

    Posted on June 19th, 2014 TimB No comments

  • Irish Drug trends, responses and unintended consequences

    Posted on May 8th, 2014 TimB No comments

  • Melanotan Injecting Survey Results

    Posted on May 6th, 2014 TimB 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 .

    Download

     

  • Mephedrone IV Audit Tool

    Posted on May 6th, 2014 TimB 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

    Download

     

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