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Public health bodies call for decriminalisation of drugs

The UK’s two leading public health bodies, representing thousands of doctors and other professionals, are making an unprecedented call for the personal possession and use of drugs to be decriminalised.

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Students Can Now Get Drugs Safely Tested at Newcastle University

Newcastle University have made drug test kits available to students, in a progressive, pioneering move towards safer, sense-based drug policy on campus. Available for £3 as of today, the initiative arrives on the back of Students For Sensible Drug Policy Newcastle’s recent drug awareness week – which won the NUSU award for ‘best campaign’.

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Canada expected to promote harm reduction at UN drug meeting next week

The United Nations’ upcoming assembly on drugs, its first in 18 years, comes at a key time for Canada as the country’s opioid crisis worsens and several cities seek to open safe injection sites. “Canada will be going there with the intention of promoting some particular key policy options within that forum,” Donald MacPherson, executive director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition...

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Merchants Quay drug service offers to run Dublin heroin room

THE Merchants Quay drugs service has offered to run the government’s city centre injection room to stop heroin addicts “shooting up” on Dublin’s streets. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the drugs minister, said legislation should be complete before the summer to allow drug users to inject themselves legally in a city centre facility.

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Scientists testing samples from urinals to track use of legal highs

For decades, the war on drugs has been fought on fronts from the jungles of Latin America to the classroom. But now the struggle to understand the use of illegal substances has reached a new low - the nation’s urinals.

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Safe consumption sites, not just injection, are necessary for an equitable harm reduction response to drug use

The national interest in safe-injection spaces is just one of many signals that the end of the war is nigh. Such spaces provide a place for injection drug users to inject under medical supervision, with clean supplies and out of the alleys and doorways. It is an important public health intervention and a step in the right direction. But it is not sufficient. We do not need safe-injection spaces alone; we need safe-consumption spaces.

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New HIV Resource Launched

There has been an increase in the rate of HIV diagnoses in people who inject drugs in Glasgow. In 2015 there were 45 new cases. Previously the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV in this population was lower, averaging 10 per year. The Scottish Drugs Forum have released a new resource to help inform workers.

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Safe-injection sites don't just protect drug users

A supervised injection service meant that those who used drugs could inject in a safe environment, not in an alleyway or behind an office building or in a coffee shop washroom. They could do it in a way to reduce infection, and to ensure they did not pass on disease to others by sharing needles. If an overdose occurred, then staff — health professionals — could step in to prevent an unnecessary death. Used needles would not be left to potentially harm others.

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Drug policy should focus on harm reduction

The flurry of new initiatives introduced by the federal government signals a major philosophical shift on drug policy issues. First, Health Minister Jane Philpott approved the Dr. Peter Centre’s application to continue operating a supervised injection site in Vancouver, giving hope that similar sites in other parts of the country might also be welcomed by the government. Then, Minister Philpott visited Insite, Vancouver’s other supervised injection facility, which she described as “having a huge impact on people” and “incredibly moving.”

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