This is the second in a series on strategies to help raise a vein. Last time I talked about the importance of keeping warm when trying to find a vein, this time I’d like to talk about exercise and diet. In my opinion not enough needle programme (NSP) workers or injectors even consider diet issues something to talk about.
Anyone who has spent time with injecting drug users or seen the footage from Avril Taylors study on injecting drug use will know 'flushing' is a major issue.
But is it something we often talk about? And how can we make people easily understand the issues when we do?
The UK is moving inexorably towards recovery-orientated treatment for drug and alcohol problems. In February 2010, the National Treatment Agency affirmed its commitment to developing recovery-orientated treatment systems in England, and recently published a twenty-page “Commissioning for Recovery” guide for service commissioners and joint commissioning groups, exemplifying the NTA’s re-visioning of the 2008 drugs strategy within the conceptual idiom of recovery. This is a welcome response to the diverse grass-roots, academic, and political critiques of the UK’s provision.
Working with injectors isn’t just about giving out clean equipment, you should also be aware of some of the more practical issues faced by people on a daily basis. Of course one of the major ones is getting a vein to inject into in the first place.
This is the first in a short series of articles aimed at increasing access to veins.
As with the discarding of any litter, drug related litter is undoubtedly unsightly, unpleasant, anti-social and a potential hazard to public health (including those involved in clearance, community residents and also individual drug users). However, unlike most other forms of littering, DRL has provoked a number of local, regional and national responses that each aim to minimise needlestick injury (to non-drug users), promote safer communities and encourage appropriate discarding practice by IDU.
As the anthrax situation worsens and we get the first cases appearing in England (London and Blackpool) there is still a lot of confusion over the finer details of the outbreak, especially the lack of details 'released' on the routes of drug administration.
At the time of writing this there have been 7 deaths and 14 people are in hospital with infections related to anthrax in Scotland. The current official advice from Health Protection Scotland's Dr Colin Ramsey has been "... I would urge all users to stop using heroin immediately and contact local drug support services for help in stopping.", which as advice goes has been less than helpful. But what (if any) are the messages that should be given out, and just how worried should we be?