Last month the Human Medicines (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2015 were laid before Parliament, amending the 2012 Regulations which restrict the supply etc. of medicines, and we got the first glimpse of the changes that are to be introduced from 1st October. The main change is that: "Persons employed or engaged in the provision of drug treatment services", drugs workers (though a variety of different names apply to this role these days) to you and me, will be added to the list of exempted professionals who can supply Naloxone without falling foul of the restrictions.
Naloxone is the opiate antagonist that can prevent overdose. In the US it's use is increasing and within the UK there are national programmes in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to distribute it, but not in England, in England it's left up to local areas to decide if they should distribute it. So, I thought it was time for a top 'ten reasons to distribute take home naloxone' article.
New research being presented this week at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna has made a strong link between different types of syringe and levels of HIV transmission through sharing.
As you’ll know if you’ve spent any time either working in a needle programme or injecting there are many different kinds of needle available.
The assumption is normally that the needle you’ve used in the past is always the best one for the job and most NSP workers will just go along with this, but at the end of the day not all needles are equal. This article will compare some of the main equipment you can get.
So foil is now legal in the UK (since September 5th), needle programmes across the country are now (hopefully) stocking it and offering it as a possible tool for change or early engagement route for people who smoke rather than inject their drug of choice. So here's a bit of advice for those workers giving it out.
Although there has been research around the benefits of Low Dead Space (LDS) injecting equipment for a number of years there has been an increasing interest in it recently. Even the New York Times has featured articles on the subject. So it's clear that now is the ideal time for some innovation in the development of injecting kit.
One of the questions I'm often asked when delivering training to drugs workers is "What are all the different needles for, and which is the best one to use". Although in a perfect world there would be a clear answer this is rarely the case as each person and each injecting site is unique, the best answer I normally manage is to give loose guidlines.
It's not often you get some totally new equipment in a needle programme and the last thing I expected people to be innovative with was a sharps bin. The new bin from Exchange Supplies is something which could change whole aspects of the way we work with used injecting equipment, not to mention the fact it is (in my opinion at least) a better bin from the injectors point of view.