The soaring numbers of deaths from overdoses in the US and UK requires a radical and fast rethink of drugs policy.
The UNODC highlights disease burden, increased opioid abuse and a lack of treatment access in their global state of drug use report.
Drug use and illicit drugs generally are associated with antisocial behaviour, however, in my experience of dealing with young people I have found that drug use always starts out as an intensely social experience. I've always felt as though the personal connections, rituals and shared experiences that go along with drug use are a more powerful source of habit formation and dependency than the “chemical hooks” theory that has been promoted in anti-drug campaigns over the years.
Harm reduction programmes aim to prevent the spread of HIV and reduce other harms associated with drug use. Approaches include providing easy access to sterile needles to reduce infections from needle sharing, and replacing illegal opiates (such as heroin) with prescribed medicine such as methadone or buprenorphine under medical supervision. Australia, Switzerland and the UK have reduced the number of new HIV infections among people who inject drugs to practically zero through harm reduction initiatives.
The world’s illicit drug economy is “thriving” owing to large increases in the production of heroin and cocaine and a wider spectrum of synthetic substances on the market, the UN’s drugs watchdog said.
In 2015 about a quarter of a billion people used drugs. Of these, around 29.5 million people - or 0.6 per cent of the global adult population - were engaged in problematic use and suffered from drug use disorders, including dependence. Opioids were the most harmful drug type and accounted for 70 per cent of the negative health impact associated with drug use disorders worldwide, according to the latest World Drug Report, released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
A site for the UK's first legal drug consumption room has been identified by council and NHS officials. It is hoped the facility in Glasgow city centre, which would allow users to take drugs under supervision, could be operational in early 2018.
Montreal has launched the first mobile supervised injection clinic in North America, as part of a package of services aimed at fighting back against an opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives across Canada.
The science and the knowledge base are there. What is needed is political will.
It is unclear whether treatment and care for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can help people who inject drugs (PWID) modify their injection drug use behaviours. This study examined changes in injection drug use among PWID with acute HCV systematically referred for HCV clinical assessment and treatment and offered targeted health care services, over the course of one year.
The criminalization of drug use has a negative effect on efforts to prevent and treat people with HIV, suggests a review of published research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of British Columbia.
A report by Harm Reduction International (HRI) and the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) finds harm reduction funding to be “in crisis” in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Greece and Hungary, fuelled by low investment in harm reduction services and high or increasing rates of injecting drug use, HIV and hepatitis C.
Britain has Europe’s highest proportion of heroin addicts and problematic use of novel psychoactive substances, say reports by the European drugs agency
What do the latest data tell us about the European drug market? What are the new trends in drug use among European adults and school students? What are the harms associated with drug use and what is being done to counter them? These and other questions are explored in the 2017 European Drug Report, our annual overview of the drug situation in Europe.
In the era of highly active antiretroviral treatment, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still affect people living with HIV as they get older.
The Global Drug Survey 2017 reports on the recreational drug habits of 5,900 people in the UK and 120,000 globally. In the UK 65% of participants had taken drugs in the last 12 months, with increased drug purity motivating pleasure-seeking behaviour.
Despite reports of expanding rates of injecting drug use in a new list of countries around the world, no new countries have established needle and syringe programmes in the last three years.
Humankind has the capacity and knowledge to eliminate the Hepatitis C virus from Earth - but stigma, prejudice and greed stand in the way. Watch our movie produced in cooperation with the Correlation Network and learn more!
While other countries are succeeding in reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths, U.S. rates are rising.
The world can learn from how Norway treats its offenders