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  • Shooting Up: Infections among people who inject drugs in the UK 2012. An update: November 2013

    Posted on November 9th, 2013 TimB No comments
    1. People who inject image and performance enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids and melanotan, are at greater risk of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection than previously thought. In England and Wales, the level of HIV infection among this group is similar to that among people who inject psychoactive drugs, such as, heroin and crack-cocaine. The proportion that had ever been infected with hepatitis B is lower than that among people who inject psychoactive drugs, although recent survey findings suggest the level of infection has increased over time.
    2. Infections remain common among people who inject psychoactive drugs. Overall around half of this group have been infected with hepatitis C; around one in every 100 has HIV; and almost one-third report having a recent symptom of an injecting site bacterial infection. Hepatitis B infection among people who inject psychoactive drugs has declined, probably reflecting the marked increase in the uptake of the hepatitis B vaccine.
    3. Needle and syringe sharing is lower than a decade ago, although around one in seven of people who inject psychoactive drugs continue to share needles and syringes.
    4. There has been a recent increase in the injection of amphetamines and amphetamine-type drugs, such as, mephedrone. Though these psychoactive drugs are much less commonly injected than opiates, crack-cocaine, or image and performance enhancing drugs, there is evidence that their injection is associated with higher levels of infection risk.
    5. To minimise the harm from injecting drug use, changes in the patterns of use that increase infection risk need to be detected and responded to promptly. The continued public health monitoring of injecting drug use is therefore important. Services to prevent infections among people who inject either psychoactive or image and performance enhancing drugs need to be maintained and be responsive to any changes in drug use.

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    Shooting Up: Infections among people who inject drugs in the UK 2012. An update: November 2013 

    Shooting Up 2013 accompanying data tables 

    Briefing on the Shooting Up report November 2013 

     

  • Injecting Equipment Provision in Scotland Survey 2011/12

    Posted on June 28th, 2013 TimB No comments

    This publication reports on the findings of the survey of injecting equipment provision (IEP) to people who inject drugs and relates to the financial year 2011/12. The survey was carried out by the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland. The survey was originally commissioned in the context of Phase II of the Scottish Hepatitis C Action Plan1, which was funded by the Scottish Government and coordinated by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) The use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) in Scotland is posing a new challenge for the NHS after figures released today exposed their soaring use.

    According to statistics from ISD Scotland, people injecting PIEDs now account for around a tenth of those who report to health services. It stated 93 per cent of injecting equipment provision outlets in Scotland now deal with such users, while the number of heroin addicts appears to be falling.

    The Scottish Conservatives have warned that, if more people are taking performance enhancing drugs, the Scottish Government has to be ready for it. Despite the apparent drop in heroin use, nearly four million needles were handed out last year by the NHS, and this does not include the bulk of NHS Lothian’s figures, whose pharmacies did not submit data.

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  • Prevalence of, and risk factors for, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections among men who inject image and performance enhancing drugs in England & Wales.

    Posted on April 23rd, 2013 TimB No comments

    Dr Vivian Hope of Public Health England told the British HIV Association conference yesterday that injection of image- and performance-enhancing drugs is rising in England and Wales. Moreover, his research suggests that men may be acquiring bloodborne viruses through this route – 1.5% had antibodies to HIV, 8.8% had antibodies to hepatitis B and 5.5% to hepatitis C.

    Dr Hope said that across the world, only three previous studies have been conducted on HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs which are taken to enhance body image, physical strength or performance. One of these three was conducted in the UK in the mid-1990s and did not find any HIV infections in those surveyed.

    There are reports of increased numbers of people injecting these drugs who present to needle and syringe exchanges. However, not all syringe exchanges have the skills and experience to meet their needs. The injecting process is different to that of opiates ­– these drugs are normally delivered in a sealed vial, and are not usually injected into a vein, but into a muscle or beneath the skin.

    Moreover, the social profile of injectors of image- and performance-enhancing drugs is different to that of opiate injectors – younger, more likely to be employed, less likely to have had problems with the criminal justice system.

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  • Human Enhancement Drugs The Emerging Challenges to Public Health

    Posted on April 11th, 2012 TimB No comments

    This report is intended to raise the profile of the emerging challenge to health from the self-directed use of drugs to enhance the human body, and to inform the development of approaches to understanding and tackling the problem. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this report is up-to-date and as accurate as possible at the time of publication, readers are advised to check the most current information that is available. Most of the drugs discussed in this report are currently obtained from an illicit market, i.e. outside of government regulation.

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  • Anabolic steroids making musclemen infertile, say doctors

    Posted on January 26th, 2011 TimB No comments

    Bodybuilders destroying their chance of becoming fathers in their quest to bulk up, specialists report

    Growing numbers of men are becoming infertile because they take anabolic steroids in their quest for a muscular body, doctors have warned.

    Urologists are seeing more and more men whose difficulty in becoming a father is linked to consumption of the muscle-boosting drugs.

    Steve Payne, a consultant urologist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and a council member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, said: “Many fit young men who believe they are at the peak of physical perfection don’t believe it could be their fault when their wives or girlfriends find it difficult to become pregnant.

    “They are insulted when it is suggested that they undergo a sperm test, and horrified when the results of those tests show an absence of sperm in the sample.”

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  • Steroids Harm the Hearts of Long-Term Users, Study Finds

    Posted on April 30th, 2010 TimB No comments

    A study of 12 male weightlifters who were long-term users of anabolic steroids found that the drugs can cause significant damage to the heart, the Los Angeles Times reported April 27.

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  • More Asian teens ‘using steroids’

    Posted on July 20th, 2009 TimB No comments

    A growing number of young Asians are using steroids to try and build up muscle and achieve the perfect body, according to drugs workers.

    John Bolloten, a needle exchange co-ordinator in Bradford, said the number of Asians using his centre has jumped from about 5% to between 25% and 30%.

    While only a small number traditionally used street drugs, they were now “primarily using steroids”, he said.

    Most anabolic steroids are classified as class C drugs.

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