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Opioid substitution therapy, especially in combination with needle exchange, reduces transmission of hepatitis C

A pooled analysis of 25 studies has shown for the first time good evidence that methadone and other forms of opioid substitution therapy substantially reduce new hepatitis C infections. Previously, this had been clearly demonstrated for HIV, but not hepatitis C.

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UN attempt to decriminalise drugs foiled

A paper from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been withdrawn after pressure from at least one country. The document, which was leaked, recommends that UN members consider "decriminalising drug and possession for personal consumption".

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Lack of prison needle programs a breach of human rights and international law

A group of experts, led by Associate Professor Mark Stoové, head of the HIV and Justice Health Research programs at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, said the absence of prison needle programs in Australia constituted a breach of human rights and international law.

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Surge in new HIV cases linked to ‘snow blow’ drug use

A surge in the number of new cases of HIV among intravenous drug users in Dublin this year has been linked to the growing use of a new drug known as “snow blow”. The HSE has expressed concern about the scale of the increase in the capital, particularly among the city’s homeless population.

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Injecting drug users treated for botulism

Two injecting drug users are being treated in hospital for suspected botulism, it has been confirmed. One of the patients is from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area while the other is from the NHS Lanarkshire area.

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Union resistance could stymie prison needle exchange program

A senior blood-borne diseases researcher, Associate Professor Mark Stoové, says Australia’s first prison needle and syringe program flagged for trial in an ACT jail is most likely doomed because of the influence of a union and its members.

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Naloxone to be Made Available Over the Counter in Australia

The interim ruling, made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), moves naloxone from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3, removing physical and legal barriers for those most in need of access to the life-saving medication, while also making it possible for families and friends of drug users to obtain naloxone to keep on hand.

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Uberdose: 911 for People Who Should Call for Help, But Won't

To a certain extent, I think we all knew this was coming. For as long as there have been efforts to equip police officers and public transit workers with naloxone -- "the overdose antidote" -- to reverse opiate overdoses and resuscitate dying patients near instantaneously, it was almost a given that someone was eventually going to pipe up and say, "There should be an Uber for heroin overdoses."

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People who inject drugs should have access to hepatitis C treatment, expert panel recommends

New recommendations on hepatitis C treatment and care for people who inject drugs encourage physicians to offer treatment to all people who inject drugs diagnosed with HCV, and to offer a comprehensive package of social support and harm reduction to enable people to adhere to treatment.

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