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  • Health officials issue guidance for providers in diagnosing Anthrax in Injecting Drug Users

    Posted on October 6th, 2013 TimB No comments

    The aim of this guidance is to assist clinicians in Ireland in clinical and microbiological assessment of suspected cases of infection with B. anthracis in IDUs. Due to the nature of the infection in heroin users, clinicians should consider the following as possible presentations of anthrax and discuss the case immediately with their local microbiologist.


  • EMCDDA report presents latest evidence on heroin-assisted treatment for hard-to-treat opioid users

    Posted on April 19th, 2012 TimB No comments

    The prescription of substitution drugs, together with appropriate psychosocial support, is an integral part of today’s mainstream approach to treating heroin dependence. This has come about because over the last two decades, an increasing body of high-quality research has demonstrated the efficacy of using drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine to help stabilise and improve the health status of those dependent on illicit ‘street’ heroin. The weight of evidence has been sufficient to counterbalance legitimate concerns about the value of replacing one opioid drug with another. Most importantly, the development of good clinical practice and safeguards has ensured that any possible unintended negative consequences have been largely avoided. This is important for the prescription of medicines that themselves have considerable abuse potential.

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  • Perceived Serosorting of Injection Paraphernalia Sharing Networks among Injection Drug users in Baltimore

    Posted on January 30th, 2012 TimB No comments

    We examined perceived serosorting of injection paraphernalia sharing networks among a sample of 572 injection drug users (IDUs). There was evidence for serosorting of high-risk injection behaviors among HIVnegative IDUs, as 94% of HIV-negative IDUs shared injection paraphernalia exclusively with perceived HIV negative networks. However, 82% of HIV-positive IDUs shared injection paraphernalia with perceived HIV-negative networks. The findings indicate a potential risk of rapid HIV transmission. Future prevention efforts targeting IDUs should address the limitation of serosorting, and focus on preventing injection paraphernalia sharing regardless of potential sharing networks’ perceived HIV status.


  • Hidden epidemic in Irish society

    Posted on March 18th, 2011 TimB No comments

    Dr Colin O’Gara outlines the symptoms and most effective treatments for codeine addiction and examines how availability controls can affect the incidence of dependency problems in the patient population.
    Addiction services within the Irish psychiatric system have traditionally been dominated by presentations of illicit substance abuse. An increasing number of newspaper articles in Ireland, however, have highlighted the rising problem of codeine abuse and addiction.

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  • Opioid Treatment Protocol

    Posted on December 21st, 2010 TimB No comments

    This is the first external review of the Methadone Treatment Protocol in Ireland. It seeks to examine the regulatory process and oversight of methadone and opiate dependence treatment, focusing on both the 1998 protocol and the processes by which treatment is implemented and delivered.

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  • Heroin Alert Guidelines

    Posted on December 16th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Irish Needle Exchange Forum is encouraging services across Ireland to be on the alert for increased overdose and other health risks among opiate users following reports of low purity heroin in various parts of the country.

    Recent extreme weather conditions in Ireland could be adding to these risks.

    For some weeks there have been reports from across the UK and Ireland about reduced quality/purity in some areas and apparent heroin ‘droughts’ in other areas. At least 10 people were hospitalized in Surrey last month after injecting a substance being sold as heroin which actually contained a potentially lethal sedative called alprazolam.

    Download full briefing

  • The potential and viability of establishing a Supervised Injecting Facility (SIF) in Melbourne

    Posted on June 22nd, 2010 TimB No comments

    The following provides a summary of evidence generated through a review of published and unpublished literature and key expert consultation. It outlines a position on the potential and viability of a Supervised Injecting Facility (SIF) in Melbourne.


  • Prevention and Evaluation Resources Kit (PERK)

    Posted on June 4th, 2010 TimB No comments

    This manual compiles basic but evidence-based prevention principles, planning rules and evaluation tips. Additionally, it provides related documentation or references for download; it is hoped that this additional material will be particularly useful for readers who have difficulty accessing the scientific prevention literature. To illustrate the theoretical discussion, an intervention example, partly based on a real-life situation, gives a practical perspective.


  • Ethical challenges in drug epidemiology: issues, principles and guidelines

    Posted on March 10th, 2010 TimB No comments

    The Global Assessment Programme on Drug Abuse (GAP) Toolkit Module 7: Ethical challenges in drug epidemiology: issues, principles and guidelines, was prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as part of the activities of GAP. The main objectives of GAP are to help countries to (a) collect reliable and internationally comparable data on drug abuse; (b) build capacity at the local level to collect data that can guide demand reduction activities; and (c) improve cross-national,regional and global reporting on drug trends.


  • Best infection control practices for intradermal, subcutaneous, and intramuscular needle injections

    Posted on January 20th, 2010 TimB No comments

    In transitional and developing countries where unnecessary injections are common, the average number of health care injections per person was estimated to be 3.7 per year (this includes all health care injections, including those given to diabetics for administering insulin) . Many injections, as well as being unnecessary, are also unsafe. Each year, the reuse of injection equipment may cause 20 million infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV), 2 million infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and 250 000 infections with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) worldwide These chronic infections lead to a high burden of morbidity and mortality.

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