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  • 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 .

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  • 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

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  • Report on Hepatitis C Notifications Quarter 3 2013 – Health Protection Surveillance Centre

    Posted on May 2nd, 2014 TimB 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

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  • Survey – Impact of the Psychoactive Substance Act in Ireland

    Posted on April 25th, 2014 TimB 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

    Take the survey 

  • Study on the prevalence of drug use, including intravenous drug use, and blood-borne viruses among the Irish prisoner population

    Posted on April 10th, 2014 TimB No comments

    Accurate up-to-date data on the extent of drug use and the prevalence of blood-borne viruses among the prisoner population are a necessary pre-requisite for health and social service planning and policy development. The most recent national study assessing the prevalence of blood-borne viruses, along with self-reported drug use within Irish prisons (Allwright et al., 1999), was carried out over a decade ago.

    This study was commissioned by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD)* in 2010 with the following objectives: to describe the nature, extent and pattern of consumption for different drugs among the prisoner population; to describe methods of drug use, including intravenous drug use, among the prisoner population; to estimate the prevalence of blood-borne viruses among the prisoner population and to identify associated risk behaviours; and to measure the uptake of individual drug treatment and harm reduction interventions (including hepatitis B vaccination) in prison.

    This study confirms that drug use, including injecting drug use, is a significant problem among prisoners in Ireland and suggests that drug-related factors are important in the acquisition of blood-borne viruses. The findings also show that prisoners who need services, such as the range of addiction services and detoxification, are very willing to use them when they are available. ‘In-prison’ uptake of testing and vaccination services confirms that prisons are appropriate settings for the provision of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for drug users. It is hoped that the evidence provided in this study will facilitate service and policy development in this important area.

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  • The National Drug-Related Deaths Database (Scotland) Report: Analysis of Deaths occurring in 2012

    Posted on March 25th, 2014 TimB No comments

    This is the fourth report from the National Drug-Related Deaths Database (NDRDD) for Scotland which presents data for the calendar year 2012 and trend data back to 2009. The NDRDD was established to collect detailed information regarding the nature and social circumstances of individuals who have died a drug-related death. This report analyses a cohort of drug-related deaths in Scotland already reported by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), formerly known as the General Register Office for Scotland.
    The NRS and NDRDD gather their information separately but since both sets of data concern drug-related deaths in Scotland, there is a great deal of overlap and therefore it is useful to draw comparisons. The NRS have identified an upward trend in drug-related deaths in Scotland since 1997 [1]; the NDRDD reports have sought to contextualise these deaths in relation to the social circumstances of the deceased. Dissemination of NDRDD findings informs policymakers and practitioners as to the potential for harm reduction and therapeutic interventions to reduce drug-related deaths in Scotland.

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  • EMCDDA Regional drug strategies across the world

    Posted on March 25th, 2014 TimB No comments

    This paper offers a comparison of the drug strategies and plans adopted over the last five years by six intergovernmental organisations engaging 148 countries in four continents. It informs decision-makers, professionals and researchers working in the area of international drug policy about the way in which countries of the same region have decided to strategically approach drug-related security, social and health problems.

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  • UNODC Scientific Consultation “Science addressing drugs and HIV: State of the Art” A Consensus Statement

    Posted on March 13th, 2014 TimB No comments

    As the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) conducts its high-level review of the implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action, there remains a significant discrepancy between what science has shown actually works, and what in reality is being implemented in countries most affected by HIV and hepatitis C epidemics driven by unsafe injecting drug use.
    It is estimated that, of the estimated 13 (9-22) million people who inject drugs worldwide, 13% are living with HIV and more than 60% live with the hepatitis C virus with large regional variation. As long as effective measures to reduce drug consumption and unsafe injection are not implemented, HIV and hepatitis C virus will continue to spread among people who inject drugs and ultimately to their partners and to society in general.

    The HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C epidemics as these relate to injecting drug use is of particular concern in Eastern Europe and central Asia and throughout the rest of the Asian region.

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  • Statement by Ireland Minister of State for Ireland at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs 2014

    Posted on March 13th, 2014 TimB No comments

    Alex White, Minister of State for Ireland

    Since we adopted the 2009 political declaration, the world drug problem has continued to evolve with new threats. Ireland has been no exception. The challenges we have faced will be exposed here, as well as the idea of new evidence-based strategies. Our startegy remains consistent with our international commitments (conventions, declaration, EU action plan).

    Ireland has been one of the most affected states by NPS proliferation, including the opening of head shops. We control 260 substances, with new criminal justice policies to sell, export and advertise these substances. This has led to the closure of almost all of these substances.

    Tackling the related harms that drug markets bring with them is one of the main features of Ireland’s strategy. A national programme was established with police working with community based family support organisations. Prevention and awareness programmes are one of the parts of our programme. This includes more than information sharing, but also building skills and resilience. We also support diversion programmes and family support for young people. For treatment, we want to move people onto a drug free life when achievable. This includes the provision of opioid substitution treatment. We provide a pathway into services.

    We also have poly-drug use, with both licit and illicit substances.

    Social integration can also be an important challenge. Our rehabilitation service includes housing, education, employment initiatives, treatment, etc.

    Ireland is committed to the Political Declaration and continuing the debate and dialogue on drugs issues. I also look further ahead of the 2016 UNGASS. The promotion and protection of human rights underpins Ireland’s policy. We reiterate our opposition of the use of the death penalty under any circumstance.

    We also promote partnership with all, including civil society. It has been crucial for Ireland for our policies from local to international level. We call for the participation of civil society at the CND and in UNGASS preparatory processes.

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