Harm reduction – drugs

National naloxone programme Scotland – Quarterly monitoring bulletin October to December 2023/24
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents information on the number of take-home naloxone kits issued by the National Naloxone Programme (NNP) in Scotland. Figures are presented separately for kits issued from community outlets, kits issued in prisons at the point of liberation, kits dispensed via community prescription, and kits issued by Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) | PHS, UK

The cost of complacency: A harm reduction funding crisis
Since 2020, the world has experienced several acute crises which have tested the resilience of harm reduction services. Economic, political, humanitarian and environmental crises have also put harm reduction at risk. Harm reduction services, particularly those led by the community of people who use drugs and civil society have shown their ability to reach those most in need and adapt to changing circumstances in times of crises | HRI, UK

Consultation outcome: Proposals to expand access to take-home naloxone supplies
Responses to the consultation were overwhelmingly supportive of the UK Government and devolved administration’s proposals for enabling more organisations and individuals to supply take-home naloxone. There was widespread agreement that the proposed list of named services and professionals should be able to supply take-home naloxone without a prescription. Responses agreed with the need for training requirements, including on the storage and supply of naloxone, as well as how to support those people supplied with naloxone | Department of Health and Social Care, Department of Health (Northern Ireland), The Scottish Government, and Welsh Government

Illegal drugs: Progress mixed on Government harm reduction efforts, PAC report finds [Reducing the harm from illegal drugs]
Government’s efforts to reduce the harm from illegal drugs are seeing mixed progress. In a report published today, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), while welcoming achievements including drug worker recruitment and disruption to supply, finds less clear progress in reducing drug use and related harms. Particularly concerning is that drug use is rising fastest in younger people as the number of under-18s in treatment has fallen sharply | Public Accounts Committee, UK

Overdose Prevention Centres, Safe Consumption Sites, and Drug Consumption Rooms: A Rapid Evidence Review
Drug Science is pleased to announce the release of a rapid evidence review collating and synthesizing the existing evidence on Overdose Prevention Centres (OPCs), outlining what we know about their impact on individuals, communities, and public health. The primary objective of this rapid review is to offer a comprehensive understanding of OPCs, for policymakers, politicians, service providers, health departments, current and potential service providers, researchers, and anyone else interested in the health and well-being of people who use drugs | Drug Science, UK

European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments (2023)
The European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments presents the EMCDDA’s latest analysis of the drug situation in Europe. Focusing on illicit drug use, related harms and drug supply, the report contains a comprehensive set of national data across these themes and key harm-reduction interventions | EMCDDA, Portugal

Reducing the harm from illegal drugs
It is almost two years since the government introduced its latest drugs strategy and less than 18 months remain in the current funding period to March 2025. This report examines whether the government is well positioned to achieve the strategy’s 10-year ambitions | National Audit Office, UK

The Global State of Harm Reduction 2022 (2022)
The Global State of Harm Reduction is the only report that provides an independent analysis of harm reduction in the world. Now in its the eighth edition, the Global State of Harm Reduction 2022 is the most comprehensive global mapping of harm reduction responses to drug use, HIV and viral hepatitis | HRI, UK

ACMD Naloxone Review (2022)
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has undertaken a review of the availability and implementation of naloxone in the UK | ACMD, UK

Meet the Global Drug Policy Index (2021)
The Global Drug Policy Index provides each country with a score and ranking that shows how much their drug policies and their implementation align with the UN principles of human rights, health and development. [The UK ranks 4th] | Global Drug Policy Index, UK

Safer Drug Consumption Facilites – Evidence Paper (2021)
This paper highlights the evidence in support of Safer Drug Consumption Facilities | Scottish Government, UK

The Global State of Harm Reduction 2020
The Global State of Harm Reduction is the only report that provides an independent analysis of harm reduction in the world. Now in its the seventh edition, the Global State of Harm Reduction 2020 is the most comprehensive global mapping of harm reduction responses to drug use, HIV and viral hepatitis | HRI, UK

WEDINOS Annual Report 2019-20, 2020
WEDINOS provides a framework for the collection and testing of samples of psychoactive substances and combinations of drugs along with information regarding the symptoms users experienced… Collation of these findings along with identification of the chemical structure of the samples enables the dissemination of pragmatic evidence-based harm reduction information for those using psychoactive drugs or considering use | Public Health Wales, UK

Room for improvement: How drug consumption rooms save lives (PDF), 2019
A new report by Jarryd Bartle, a drug policy consultant and university lecturer, calls for Britain to introduce life-saving Drug Consumption Rooms | Adam Smith Institute, UK

Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Take-Home Naloxone in England 2017/18
This report updates Release’s previous reporting on ‘Take-home Naloxone in England: 2016/17’ and presents novel findings on take-home naloxone provision in custodial settings, such as in prisons, across England for the period 2017/18 | Release, UK

Guidance: Widening the availability of naloxone, 2019
Naloxone is the emergency antidote for overdoses caused by heroin and other opiates/opioids (such as methadone and morphine) | DoH et al, UK

Global State of Harm Reduction 2018
The 2018 Global State of Harm Reduction is the sixth edition of this report, and the most comprehensive ever thanks to a coordinated effort of over 100 harm reduction practitioners, academics, advocates and activists from around the world | HRI, UK

Global review of drug checking services operating in 2017,2018
Drug checking (or ‘pill testing’) services invite members of the public to anonymously submit psychoactive drug samples for forensic analysis and then provide individualised feedback of results and counselling as appropriate | NDARC, Australia

Night Lives: Reducing Drug-Related Harm in the Night Time Economy, 2018
This report advocates for the adoption of a set of bold yet practical initiatives across our towns and cities to address this failure. Aimed at stakeholders including the night time industry, local authorities, police forces and public health, Night Lives offers new ideas for reducing drug-related harm in the UK’s night time economy | Volte Face, Durham University, We are the loop, APPG on drug policy reform, UK

Evidence review summary: drug demand reduction, treatment, and harm reduction, 2017
This short report presents a brief overview of recent evidence for the most effective approaches in the fields of drug use prevention, drug use treatment and harm reduction. It discusses the strengths and limitations of the evidence and some challenges for the implementation of the approaches, and it summarises the principles underpinning the successful knowledge transfer that supports the use of evidence in the development and delivery of policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

Still no harm reduction? A critical review of the UK Government’s new Drug Strategy (PDF), 2017
This briefing, endorsed by eight of the UK’s leading harm reduction and drug treatment organisations, looks at whether the focus on harm reduction has improved under the new Drug Strategy (2017), and discusses challenges in the funding environment which will have a disproportionate impact on harm reduction services | National AIDS Trust – secretariat to the English Harm Reduction Group, UK

Take-home Naloxone in England, 2017
To map out and assess the provision of take-home naloxone in England, Release requested information from all local authority areas under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 through a self-completion questionnaire, as local authorities are responsible for commissioning drug treatment services | Release, UK

Take-home naloxone for opioid overdose in people who use drugs (PDF), 2017
Advice for local authorities and local partners on widening the availability of naloxone to reduce overdose deaths from heroin and other opiate drugs | PHE, UK

Global State of Harm Reduction 2016
Services to reduce drug-related harms are failing to keep up with growing need, despite pledges to combat AIDS among people who inject drugs | HRI, UK

Evaluation of the HSE Naloxone Demonstration Project (PDF), 2016
The HSE in conjunction with their partners[1] who were involved in the Naloxone Demonstration Project is marking International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) to raise awareness of the risks of drug overdose and the impact on individuals and their families [see also press release] | HSE, Ireland

Do no harm – Health, human rights and people who use drugs, 2016
In this report, UNAIDS shows what works to reduce the impact of HIV and other harms related to drug use. Countries that have moved away from laws and policies that are harmful to people who use drugs and that have increased investment in harm reduction have reduced new HIV infections and improved health outcomes. These policies also deliver broader social benefits, such as lower levels of drug-related crime and reduced pressure on health-care and criminal justice systems | UNAIDS, Switzerland

The Case for a Harm Reduction Decade, 2016 (PDF)
HIV-related deaths and new HIV infections among people who inject drugs could be almost entirely eliminated by 2030 with just a tiny shift in global drug control spending. This is one finding of our report | HRI, UK

Club Drug Use Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) People (PDF), 2016
This report has been written as part of the wider suite of clinical guidance and tools that aim to provide evidence-based knowledge to inform the management in clinical practice of harms related to the use of ‘club drugs’. It is a supplement to, and should be read in conjunction with, Guidance on the Clinical Management of Acute and Chronic Harms of Club Drugs and Novel Psychoactive Substances (www.neptune-clinical-guidance.co.uk) | Neptune Project, UK

Preventing opioid overdose deaths with take-home naloxone, EMCDDA, 2016
This publication examines the case for distributing naloxone, an emergency medication, to people who inject opioids such as heroin and to others who might witness an opioid overdose | EMCDDA, Portugal

HIV, HCV, TB and Harm Reduction in Prisons,  2016
This report identifies some of the most important human rights and public health standards relating to HIV, HCV and TB in prisons, and the vital role of harm reduction provision in ensuring them | HRI, UK

Naloxone – preliminary advice from the working group updating Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management, 2015
The working group updating the 2007 national clinical guidelines on drug treatment has published some preliminary advice on naloxone before addressing its supply and use more fully in the published update next year. The advice covers naloxone dosing in overdose situations, take-home naloxone products that can be supplied and training that should be provided, now and following legislation to make naloxone more widely available from October 2015 onwards | PHE, UK

Road to Success: Towards Sustainable Harm Reduction Financing Regional report. First year of the Regional Program “Harm Reduction Works – Fund It!” (PDF)
This report analyses the current state of harm reduction investment and services for people who inject drugs in East Europe and Central Asia. Monitoring of harm reduction services and investments in harm reduction programs has been conducted within the Regional Program “Harm Reduction Works – Funded It!” being implemented by Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) with financial support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria | EHRN, Lithuania

Drug consumption rooms: an overview of provision and evidence, 2015
Supervised drug consumption facilities, where illicit drugs can be used under the supervision of trained staff, have been operating in Europe for the last three decades. These facilities primarily aim to reduce the acute risks of disease transmission through unhygienic injecting, prevent drug-related overdose deaths and connect high-risk drug users with addiction treatment and other health and social services. They also seek to contribute to a reduction in drug use in public places and the presence of discarded needles and other related public order problems linked with open drug scenes | EMCDDA, Portugal

Mortality among drug users is Europe – new and old challenges for public health, 2015
More than 6 000 drug users die of overdose each year in the European Union, and most of these deaths occur among problem drug users and involve opioids. In addition, many deaths related indirectly to drug use occur each year. To gain a clearer picture of the overall number of lives lost due to drug use in Europe, this paper builds on the results of an earlier work that looked at all-cause mortality among problem drug users | EMCDDA, Portugal

Global State of Harm Reduction 2014, Harm Reduction International, 2015
The data gathered for this report provides a critical baseline against which progress can be measured in terms of international, regional and national recognition of harm reduction in policy and practice | HRI, UK

Harm Reduction and the Global HIV Epidemic AmfAR, 2015 (PDF)
This report assesses the state of harm reduction worldwide by focusing on the steps that five sample countries—Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Ukraine, and Vietnam—have, or have not, taken to address the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs (PWID) | AmfAR, USA

The negative impact of drug control on public health, Global Commission on Drug Policy, 2015
This report considers the impact of current drug policy and aims to bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies | GDP, Brazil

A Global Review of the Harm Reduction Response to Amphetamines: A 2015 Update
An assessment of international approaches to amphetamine harm reduction | HRI, UK

Harm reduction, evidence, impacts and challenges, 2010
The EMCDDA’s 10th scientific monograph, entitled Harm reduction: evidence, impacts and challenges provides a comprehensive overview of the harm reduction field | EMCDDA, Portugal