ARF

Russian Harm Reduction NGO Declared "Foreign Agent"

The Andrey Rylkov Foundation (ARF), the only NGO that provides sterile needles and syringes to injecting drug users in Moscow, has been declared a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This means that the Russian government regards as presenting a threat to national security because they receive funding from international donors.

Smoking

Needles are not enough

In the 1980s, the UK and many other countries started developing needle programmes in an attempt to limit the impact that HIV was having on the injecting community and by extension the general public.But this intervention only works with injectors. Injectors are likely to have been using drugs for a number of years already, so surely supplying equipment to people smoking or snorting their drug of choice should be a logical next step in early engagement.
Hendrix

Overdose, Stigma and the Great Challenge

Last year on the 31st of August 2011, (International Overdose Awareness Day) I posted an image of Jimi Hendrix to Twitter with the following caption; 'Imagine how much sweeter the world would sound with a little more harm reduction'. (While there are varying reports regarding the nature of Hendrix's death the official finding was that he asphyxiated on his own vomit after consuming more alcohol than he was able to tolerate – effectively an overdose of alcohol). It was my way of acknowledging that when a fatal overdose occurs it is not just a death that occurs but the loss of an opportunity.
Young people

Young People's Outcomes

On January 17th Mark Johnson wrote an article in the Guardian entitled "It's time to treat drug-addicted children as adults" although the article was itself about young people's rehab, the title does raise the issue of how we treat our young people when they access services. As those working in young people's drug treatment know, the outcomes the government look for are already those of adults. But, is it reasonable or even achievable to use same outcome measures for young people and adults in the UK?

Insite

Drug Consumption Rooms

Earlier on this year in September the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the Harper government couldn't close the Insite safer injection facility in Vancouver. Insite, which in 2009 had over 250,000 visits from people using its facilities, opened in 2003. In the time it has been operating it has received strong local support especially from the Mayors of Vancover who irrespective of their party have always fought to keep it open.

The Stuff On Tobacco

The Stuff On Tobacco This 16-page booklet, aimed at young people, covers tobaccoo and includes sections on: what it is brief history of use effects dangers the law top 10 safety tips what the young characters think of tobacco where to find more information and get help if needed Part of the 'Stuff on..'…

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