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  • Lynn Ruane – The impact of Drug Overdose in the Community

    Posted on April 30th, 2016 TimB No comments

  • Injection of new psychoactive substance snow blow associated with recently acquired HIV infections among homeless people who inject drugs in Dublin, Ireland, 2015

    Posted on October 9th, 2015 TimB No comments

    In February 2015, the Department of Public Health (DPH), Health Service Executive (HSE) in Dublin, Ireland, identified an unexpected increase in cases of acute HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID); three cases were diagnosed p24 antigen-positive in January and February 2015, compared with two cases diagnosed during the whole year in 2014 [1]. Drug treatment clinicians had also identified increased use of a new psychoactive substance (NPS) alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (?-PVP), known as snow blow, which was being used by ‘chaotic’ PWID, and which they suspected might be linked to the increase [2]. Clinicians defined the chaotic group as homeless PWID who, if on opioid substitution treatment (OST), required daily attendance at their treatment programme, due to continued use of a variety of other illicit substances in an intensive or chaotic way. We undertook an epidemiological investigation to identify the likely source of this increase.

     

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  • ECDC–EMCDDA Special Report – Thematic report: People who inject drugs

    Posted on September 11th, 2015 TimB No comments

     

    This report, which is based on data provided by countries for reporting on the Dublin Declaration, summarises key issues related to HIV and people who inject drugs (PWID) in Europe and Central Asia. It identifies priority options for action to improve the HIV response for this population.

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  • The SMART Method for Strength and Conditioning

    Posted on May 11th, 2015 TimB No comments

     

    This publication describes general fundamental elements of nutrition and training required for safe and effective muscle building. By putting this advice into practice and adhering to a personal training and nutritional plan for a sustained length of time the desired result should be seen.

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  • Drug Treatment Figures increase in Ireland

    Posted on April 13th, 2015 TimB No comments

    A report in the Irish Examiner  highlights a nationwide surge in the abuse of benzodiazepines and cannabis — and the spread of heroin outside Dublin — has driven drug treatment figures upwards over the last five years.

    The Government has been accused of adopting a “head in the sand” approach to the problem and criticised for a continuing delay in introducing laws controlling the supply and possession of legal tranquillisers.

    Garda sources said that organised crime gangs have moved in to control the supply of the lucrative trade in benzodiazepines (tranquillisers) and so-called z-drugs (hypnotics), while health researchers report that a third of all overdoses involve benzodiazepines.

    Official statistics show a rise of almost 25% in the total number of people treated for illegal drug use between 2009 and 2013, increasing from 6,668 to 8,259.

    Figures gathered by the Health Research Board for the main drug of abuse-level users show that the biggest increases are for benzodiazepines (up 175%, from 261 in 2009 to 719 in 2013), and cannabis (up 61%, from 1,531 to 2,460).

    Opiates — in most cases heroin — rose by 4% from 4,013 to 4,189, but this reflected a fall in Dublin (from 2,360 to 2,100) and a 26% rise outside Dublin (from 1,653 to 2,089).

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  • Drug-related deaths and deaths among drug users in Ireland

    Posted on December 17th, 2014 TimB No comments

    In the nine-year period 2004–2012 a total of 5,289 deaths by drug poisoning and deaths among drug users met the criteria for inclusion in the NDRDI database.

    • Of these deaths, 3,112 were due to poisoning and 2,177 were deaths among drug users (non-poisoning) (Table 1).
    • There were 633 deaths in 2012, compared to 645 in 2011. Despite this decrease the overall trend for the reporting period is upwards (Table 1). The 2012 figure is likely to be revised upwards when new data become available.
    • Deaths due to polydrug use have increased by 60% over the reporting period from 118 in 2004 to 189 in 2012 (Figure 3).

     

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  • ISIS Test 400 Alert

    Posted on October 7th, 2014 TimB No comments

    Its been reported that a bad batch of isis t400 going around in the UK there is a national alert on the pied forum. Its not known if this batch is in Ireland

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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