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International Journal on Drug Policy

Beth E Meyerson, Alissa Davis, Jon D Agley, David J Shannon, Carrie A Lawrence, Priscilla T Ryder, Karleen Ritchie, Ruth Gassman
BACKGROUND: Pharmacies have much to contribute to the health of people who inject drugs (PWID) and to community efforts in HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) prevention through syringe access. However, little is known about what predicts pharmacy syringe sales without a prescription. OBJECTIVE: To identify factors predicting pharmacy syringes sales to PWID. METHODS: A hybrid staggered online survey of 298 Indiana community pharmacists occurred from July-September 2016 measuring pharmacy policy, practice, and pharmacist perceptions about syringe sales to PWID...
March 17, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Thai Hoang, Hong Nguyen, Ray W Shiraishi, Mai Nguyen, Trista Bingham, Diep Nguyen, Tam Nguyen, Hao Duong, Sheryl Lyss, Hien Tran
BACKGROUND: Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is highly effective for reducing heroin use and HIV transmission among people who inject opioids. We sought to measure and understand factors associated with continued heroin use, a critical factor affecting treatment outcome among MMT patients in Vietnam. METHOD: We collected data from medical charts of a nationally representative sample of patients who were on MMT from May 2008 to December 2013. We selected 10 MMT clinics using probability proportional to size and 50 patients/clinic by systematic random sampling...
March 15, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Rhonda Orr, Matthew Grassmayr, Rona Macniven, Anne Grunseit, Mark Halaki, Adrian Bauman
BACKGROUND: This study investigated athlete knowledge of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited Substances List and the effects of four well-known performance enhancing substances (PES). METHODS: A sample of 1925 elite and sub-elite athletes (mean age 20.6 years) completed a questionnaire about the banned status of 30 substances/methods and their knowledge of the effects of amphetamines, anabolic steroids, growth hormone and erythropoietin. RESULTS: Athletes showed limited understanding of the WADA Prohibited Substances List, scoring 32...
March 15, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Natalie Thomas, Melissa Bull
Contemporary research in the drugs field has demonstrated a number of gender differences in patterns and experiences of substance use, and the design and provision of gender-responsive interventions has been identified as an important policy issue. Consequently, whether and how domestic drug policies attend to women and gender issues is an important question for investigation. This article presents a policy audit and critical analysis of Australian national and state and territory policy documents. It identifies and discusses two key styles of problematisation of women's drug use in policy: 1) drug use and its effect on women's reproductive role (including a focus on pregnant women and women who are mothers), and 2) drug use and its relationship to women's vulnerability to harm (including violent and sexual victimisation, trauma, and mental health issues)...
March 13, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Loren Collingwood, Ben Gonzalez O'Brien, Sarah Dreier
BACKGROUND: In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first U.S. states to legalise recreational marijuana. By 2016, eight states and the District of Columbia had legalised recreational marijuana, with more expected to consider it in 2018. Despite this trend, little academic research explains what drives ballot-initiative vote choice on marijuana legalisation. METHODS: This paper uses a pre-election random sample voter survey to examine the individual characteristics that correlated with Washington voters' support for legal recreational marijuana...
March 11, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Mafalda Pardal
BACKGROUND: In Belgium, Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) collectively organize the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for the personal use of their members. In this paper we seek to improve understanding of the motivations and practices of cannabis growers operating within CSCs, shedding light on the cultivation process. METHODS: We draw on data gathered through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with the directors of seven active Belgian CSCs (n = 21) and CSC growers (n = 23)...
March 11, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Chunqing Lin, Chiao-Wen Lan, Li Li, Keming Rou
BACKGROUND: Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programs have expanded rapidly in China during the last decade. However, variance in service providers' practice may have an impact on the quality of care received by the patients. This study examined Chinese service providers' adherence to the MMT protocol and its associated factors. METHODS: The study used baseline data from a randomized intervention trial implemented in MMT clinics in five provinces of China. The data were collected from January 2012 to August 2013...
March 9, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Mohamed A Hammoud, Stefanie Vaccher, Fengyi Jin, Adam Bourne, Bridget Haire, Lisa Maher, Toby Lea, Garrett Prestage
INTRODUCTION: Gay and bisexual men (GBM) often use illicit drugs to enhance sexual pleasure, commonly referred to as 'chemsex' or 'party n play'. In particular, the use of methamphetamine and Viagra™, and other erectile dysfunction medications, both together and separately are strongly predictive of subsequent HIV infection. Truvada™, as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), virtually eliminates HIV transmission during condomless anal intercourse (CLAI). HIV-negative GBM in intensive sex partying networks may be adding PrEP to their drug regimen to actively reduce the possibility of HIV transmission during chemsex...
March 8, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
David Showalter
BACKGROUND: The United States prohibited federal funding for syringe exchange programs for people who inject drugs nearly continuously from 1988 to 2015, despite growing scientific evidence, diminishing AIDS-related controversy, and tens of thousands of deaths from injection-related AIDS. This study investigates the political and institutional bases of this long-term failure to support lifesaving public policy. METHODS: This study draws on national, regional, and local media coverage, archival sources, and semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 6 long-time syringe exchange researchers and activists from California...
March 8, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Renee Zahnow, Jim McVeigh, Geoff Bates, Vivian Hope, Joseph Kean, John Campbell, Josie Smith
BACKGROUND: Despite recognition that the Anabolic Androgenic Steroid (AAS) using population is diverse, empirical studies to develop theories to conceptualise this variance in use have been limited. METHODS: In this study, using cluster analysis and multinomial logistic regression, we identify typologies of people who use AAS and examine variations in motivations for AAS use across types in a sample of 611 men who use AAS. RESULTS: The cluster analysis identified four groups in the data with different risk profiles...
March 8, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Marta Rychert, Chris Wilkins
BACKGROUND: In July 2013 New Zealand passed the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA) to establish the world's first regulated legal market for new psychoactive substances (NPS) ("legal highs"). AIM: To critically analyse the implementation of the PSA. METHODS: Synthesis of findings from interviews with 30 key informants (i.e. politicians, civil servants, legal high industry actors, toxicologists, NGO representatives and drug policy academics), analysis of relevant laws and policy documents, and a review of academic and grey literature on the PSA...
March 7, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Ashlea Bartram, Scott Hanson-Easey, Jaklin Eliott
BACKGROUND: In Australia, recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of temporary abstinence campaigns, in which people pledge to abstain from alcohol for a month while raising funds for charity. In addition to their fundraising aims, such initiatives have been viewed as tools for broader behavioural and cultural change around alcohol, encouraging participants to reflect on their drinking and make longer-term changes to their behaviour. The extent to which these initiatives promote enduring change may depend on how they portray the experience of temporarily abstaining from alcohol, and how they position participants...
March 7, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Alexandra B Collins, Ricky N Bluthenthal, Jade Boyd, Ryan McNeil
Language has significant implications for how we view and respond to public health issues. Conventional moralistic messaging around drug use stigmatizes people who use drugs and inhibits the implementation of evidence-based harm reduction interventions that do not condemn drug use. However, within the context of the unprecedented North American opioid overdose crisis, we argue that shifting conventional moral messaging around overdose prevention and response strategies is key to supporting the rapid roll-out of evidence-based harm reduction interventions...
March 7, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Alexander G Toth, Ojmarrh Mitchell
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to utilize unique qualitative data to determine the effects of sporadic international drug interdictions on drug trafficking, and to assess whether the responses of drug traffickers align with rational choice theory. METHODS: Qualitative data obtained from 23 high-level United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informants, who are embedded in international drug trafficking groups, are examined to identify common responses to drug interdiction operations...
March 7, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Christopher Keane, James E Egan, Mary Hawk
BACKGROUND: Opioid overdose deaths in the US rose dramatically in the past 16 years, creating an urgent national health crisis with no signs of immediate relief. In 2017, the President of the US officially declared the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency and called for additional resources to respond to the crisis. Distributing naloxone to community laypersons and people at high risk for opioid overdose can prevent overdose death, but optimal distribution methods have not yet been pinpointed...
March 7, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Andy Guise, Jason Melo, Maria Luisa Mittal, Claudia Rafful, Jazmine Cuevas-Mota, Peter Davidson, Richard S Garfein, Dan Werb
BACKGROUND: Injection drug use initiation is shaped by social networks and structural contexts, with people who inject drugs often assisting in this process. We sought to explore the norms and contexts linked to assisting others to initiate injection drug use in San Diego, USA, to inform the development of structural interventions to prevent this phenomenon. METHODS: We undertook qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of people who inject drugs and had reported assisting others to initiate injection (n = 17) and a sub-sample of people who inject drugs (n = 4) who had not reported initiating others to triangulate accounts...
March 7, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Ellen Heinsbroek, Rachel Glass, Claire Edmundson, Vivian Hope, Monica Desai
BACKGROUND: Higher levels of drug use have been reported in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, some of which can be explained by sexualised drug use, including 'chemsex'; the use of drugs before or during planned sexual activity to sustain, enhance, disinhibit or facilitate sex. We explored injecting and non-injecting drug use by sexual behaviour among people who inject drugs (PWID) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. METHODS: Data were used from an unlinked-anonymous survey of PWID (2013-2016), where participants recruited through services self-completed a questionnaire...
March 6, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Rebekah Brennan, John Wells, Marie Claire Van Hout
BACKGROUND: New evidence with regard to a previously undocumented practice - self phlebotomy, known as 'bloodletting' - incontemporary injecting performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) culture is the subject of this paper. While self phlebotomy has been evidenced in psychiatric patients previously, it was performed here in people who inject AAS as a self directed health care procedure. METHODS: Data was collected from five publicly accessible internet discussion forums and coded using NVivo software...
March 5, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Nicola Singleton, Andrew Cunningham, Teodora Groshkova, Luis Royuela, Roumen Sedefov
Interventions to tackle the supply of drugs are seen as standard components of illicit drug policies. Therefore drug market-related administrative data, such as seizures, price, purity and drug-related offending, are used in most countries for policy monitoring and assessment of the drug situation. International agencies, such as the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, also monitor and report on the drug situation cross-nationally and therefore seek to collect and make available key data in a uniform manner from the countries they cover...
March 3, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Geoff Bardwell, Solanna Anderson, Lindsey Richardson, Lorna Bird, Hugh Lampkin, Will Small, Ryan McNeil
BACKGROUND: While drug user organizations (DUO) have received public health attention as a means to potentially reduce the harms associated with drug use, there is a lack of research on the compensation and structural forces that promote or inhibit participation in DUO. Against the backdrop of structural vulnerability experienced by people who use drugs (PWUD), we examined the impact of monetary 'volunteer stipends' provided through a DUO and explore their role in providing low-threshold employment opportunities and shaping participation in DUO...
March 1, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
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