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International Journal on Drug Policy

Shona Lamb, Alex H Kral, Karina Dominguez-Gonzalez, Lynn D Wenger, Ricky N Bluthenthal
BACKGROUND: Peer-to-peer injection (either providing or receiving an injection to/from a person who injects drugs [PWID]) is common (19%-50%) among PWID. Most studies of peer-to-peer injection have focused on receiving injection assistance, with fewer examining providing injection assistance and none considering characteristics of PWID who do both. We examined characteristics of PWID by peer-to-peer injection categories (receiving, providing, both, and neither) and determined if these behaviors were associated with receptive and distributive syringe sharing...
October 30, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Jason Grebely, Brian Conway, Evan B Cunningham, Chris Fraser, Alberto Moriggia, Ed Gane, Catherine Stedman, Curtis Cooper, Erika Castro, Patrick Schmid, Kathy Petoumenos, Behzad Hajarizadeh, Phillipa Marks, Amanda Erratt, Olav Dalgard, Karine Lacombe, Jordan J Feld, Julie Bruneau, Jean-Pierre Daulouede, Jeff Powis, Philip Bruggmann, Gail V Matthews, Ian Kronborg, David Shaw, Adrian Dunlop, Margaret Hellard, Tanya L Applegate, Sione Crawford, Gregory J Dore
BACKGROUND: Direct-acting antiviral therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is safe and effective, but there are little data among people who have recently injected drugs. This study evaluated the efficacy, and safety of paritaprevir/ritonavir, ombitasvir, dasabuvir with or without ribavirin for chronic HCV genotype (G) 1 among people with recent injecting drug use and/or receiving OST. METHODS: D3FEAT is an international open-label study that recruited treatment-naïve participants with recent injecting drug use (previous 6 months) and/or receiving OST with chronic HCV G1 infection between June 2016 and February 2017 in seven countries...
October 29, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Julie Bouscaillou, Tamar Kikvidze, Maia Butsashvili, Konstantine Labartkava, Ina Inaridze, Aurélie Etienne, Diane Le Pluart, George Kamkamidze, Ana Gamezardashvili, David Kharshiladze, Elisabeth Avril, Niklas Luhmann
BACKGROUND: People who inject drugs (PWID) are often excluded from HCV treatment programs due to concerns about their ability to adhere to care. Georgia has a high prevalence of HCV infection (5.4% of chronic cases in general population) with an epidemic concentrated among PWID. We evaluated adherence to care and sustained virologic response (SVR) among PWID in Georgia. METHODS: In this observational study, participants with recent injecting drug use (previous 6 months) and chronic HCV attending a needle- and syringe-program were included...
October 29, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Katherine M Waye, Jesse L Yedinak, Jennifer Koziol, Brandon D L Marshall
BACKGROUND: In 2015, the state of Rhode Island reported the fifth highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States. In response to this crisis, Rhode Island created a statewide, publicly accessible drug surveillance and information system, (PORI). Alongside near real-time overdose surveillance data, PORI provides plain language materials and resources regarding overdose prevention, recognition and response. We sought to determine how people who use drugs (PWUD) perceive and utilize overdose prevention material, and to evaluate PORI's action-based, plain language content...
October 27, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Terra Wiens, Kathleen M Lenk, Lindsey E A Fabian, Darin J Erickson
BACKGROUND: There is a lack of research regarding law enforcement practices where recreational marijuana sales are legal. Given that legalization of recreational marijuana is expanding, lessons learned from areas with existing legalization can help inform future practices. This pilot study is an evaluation of enforcement of marijuana laws in the first two states in the U.S. to legalize sales of recreational marijuana, Colorado and Washington, several years post legalization. METHODS: We surveyed a random sample of local law enforcement agencies in the two states (25 agencies per state)...
October 26, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Rayner Kay Jin Tan, Christina Misa Wong, Mark I-Cheng Chen, Yin Ying Chan, Muhamad Alif Bin Ibrahim, Oliver Zikai Lim, Martin Tze-Wei Chio, Chen Seong Wong, Roy Kum Wah Chan, Lynette J Chua, Bryan Chee Hong Choong
BACKGROUND: Sexualised substance use, or 'chemsex' has been shown to be a major factor driving the syndemic of HIV/AIDS in communities of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) around the world. However, there is a paucity of research on chemsex among GBMSM in Singapore due to punitive drug laws and the criminalisation of sexual behaviour between men. This qualitative descriptive study is the first to explore perceptions towards, motivators to engaging in, and the barriers to addressing the harms associated with chemsex among GBMSM in Singapore...
October 26, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Sahar Bajis, Lisa Maher, Carla Treloar, Behzad Hajarizadeh, Francois M J Lamoury, Yasmin Mowat, Marcel Schulz, Alison D Marshall, Evan B Cunningham, Victoria Cock, Nadine Ezard, Carla Gorton, Jeremy Hayllar, Julie Smith, Michelle Whelan, Marianne Martinello, Tanya L Applegate, Gregory J Dore, Jason Grebely
BACKGROUND: Uptake of hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing remains inadequate globally. Simplified point-of-care tests should enhance HCV diagnosis and elimination. We aimed to assess the acceptability of finger-stick and venepuncture HCV RNA testing among people who inject drugs (PWID). METHODS: Participants were enrolled in an observational cohort study with recruitment at 13 sites between June 2016 and February 2018. Capillary whole-blood collected by finger-stick and plasma collected by venepuncture were performed for Xpert® HCV viral load testing...
October 25, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Janani Shanthosh, Blake Angell, Andrew Wilson, Jane Latimer, Maree L Hackett, Anne-Marie Eades, Stephen Jan
Restrictions on the supply of alcohol are amongst the most effective and cost effective interventions to address harmful use. However, despite international human rights bodies recognising that self determination must be pre-eminent in efforts to improve Indigenous health, little is known about the role of Indigenous communities in designing and implementing alcohol controls as well as the degree to which government resourcing and/or regulation is utilised. This commentary explores Australian examples of the governance models used to ensure Indigenous participation and leadership when developing regulatory interventions for alcohol control within communities...
October 24, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Nathalie Scherz, Philip Bruggmann, Nathalie Brunner
BACKGROUND: Treating chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among PWID (people who inject drugs) is crucial to achieve the WHO goal of HCV elimination, as this population is highly affected and carries a high risk of transmission. The aim of our study was to provide real-life data on HCV treatment among PWID either in opioid agonist treatment (OAT) or in heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) in a low-threshold access primary care-based addiction medicine institution. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart analysis of patients treated with direct-acting antivirals (DAA) between 10/2014 and 08/2017 in the Arud outpatient clinics in Zurich, Switzerland...
October 24, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Brett Wolfson-Stofko, Luther Elliott, Alex S Bennett, Ric Curtis, Marya Gwadz
BACKGROUND: Approximately 100 supervised injection facilities (SIFs) operate in 66 cities around the world to reduce overdose deaths, the spread of disease and public disorder, though none legally exist in the United States. Public bathrooms are among the most common public places for injection reported by people who inject drugs in New York City (NYC) and service industry employees (SIEs) inadvertently become first-responders when overdoses occur in business bathrooms. The goal of this study was to assess SIE acceptability of SIFs and the perceived effects that SIFs would have on them, their colleagues, their businesses and communities...
October 22, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Matthew K Laing, Kenneth W Tupper, Nadia Fairbairn
Adulteration of illicit drug supplies with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose morbidity and mortality in North America. One promising response to this crisis is the implementation of "drug checking" services. Drug checking encompasses a range of interventions used to assess the constituents of illicit drug samples, such as colour-spot testing, gas or liquid chromatography, and various methods of spectroscopy. Testing may be performed on-site at events or harm reduction service locales, performed independently by consumers, or sent to a centralized lab for analysis...
October 22, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Maria Zlotorzynska, Paul J Weidle, Gabriela Paz-Bailey, Dita Broz
BACKGROUND: Increased access to sterile syringes has been shown to reduce HIV risk among people who inject drugs (PWID). Where syringe services programs (SSPs) are limited, pharmacies are an important sterile syringe source. We assessed factors associated with using pharmacies as the primary source of syringes among PWID from 20 US cities. METHODS: PWID ages ≥18 years were recruited for the 2015 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance using respondent-driven sampling...
October 22, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Alissa Davis, Tara McCrimmon, Anindita Dasgupta, Louisa Gilbert, Assel Terlikbayeva, Timothy Hunt, Sholpan Primbetova, Elwin Wu, Meruyert Darisheva, Nabila El-Bassel
BACKGROUND: HIV-infected people who inject drugs (PWID) are particularly vulnerable to suboptimal ART adherence. The fastest-growing HIV epidemics globally are driven by injection drug use, but only a small percentage of HIV-positive PWID have achieved viral suppression. Virally suppressed individuals have better HIV-related health outcomes and effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to others. Hence, ART adherence is important for both HIV treatment and HIV prevention. There is a paucity of data on barriers and facilitators of ART adherence among PWID in low and middle income countries, which is problematic given the growing HIV epidemics among PWID in these countries...
October 22, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Liu Liu, Wing Hong Chui, Xiangnan Chai
China is a major producer and distributor of methamphetamine (meth) worldwide. Within the last two decades, China has seen rapid growth in meth use, especially among young men. However, patterns of Chinese male users' initiation of meth is rarely explored. To address this void in the literature, this study adopts China's mian'zi culture to explore Chinese male meth users' initiation patterns qualitatively. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 male meth users from seven Chinese compulsory drug treatment institutions...
October 22, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Robert J Tait, Steve Whetton, Marian Shanahan, Kimberly Cartwright, Anna Ferrante, Dennis Gray, Sharlene Kaye, Rebecca McKetin, Ken Pidd, Alison Ritter, Ann Roche, Steve Allsop
Globally, there are increasing concerns about the harms associated with methamphetamine use. This paper i) reports on the results of a cost-of-illness (CoI) study that quantified the social costs associated with methamphetamine use in Australia and, ii) drawing on examples from this study, critically examines the general applicability of CoI studies for the alcohol and other drug field. A prevalence approach was used to estimate costs in 2013/2014, the most recent year for which reasonably comprehensive data were available...
October 20, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Cinta Folch, Nicolas Lorente, Xavier Majó, Oleguer Parés-Badell, Xavier Roca, Teresa Brugal, Perrine Roux, Patrizia Carrieri, Joan Colom, Jordi Casabona
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Despite the availability of several drug consumption rooms (DCR) in different European countries few epidemiological studies have evaluated their benefits. A network of DCR for people who inject drugs (PWID) has existed in Catalonia since 2000. We aimed to study the impact of frequently attending DCR on injecting in public, infectious risk (disposal of used syringes in safe places, sharing needles and/or injecting equipment), accessing drug dependence services and non-fatal overdoses...
October 20, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Evan B Cunningham, Janaki Amin, Jordan J Feld, Julie Bruneau, Olav Dalgard, Jeff Powis, Margaret Hellard, Curtis Cooper, Phillip Read, Brian Conway, Adrian J Dunlop, Briana Norton, Alain H Litwin, Behzad Hajarizadeh, Maria Christine Thurnheer, John F Dillon, Martin Weltman, David Shaw, Philip Bruggmann, Edward Gane, Chris Fraser, Philippa Marks, Tanya L Applegate, Sophie Quiene, Sharmila Siriragavan, Gail V Matthews, Gregory J Dore, Jason Grebely
BACKGROUND: This study investigated treatment adherence among people with recent injecting drug use in a study of sofosbuvir/velpatasvir therapy for HCV infection. METHODS: SIMPLIFY is an international open-label, single-arm multicentre study that recruited participants with recent injecting drug use (previous six months) and chronic HCV genotype (G) 1-6 infection between March and October 2016 in seven countries (19 sites). Participants received sofosbuvir/velpatasvir once-daily for 12 weeks administered in a one-week electronic blister pack (records the time and date of each dose) for 12 weeks...
October 20, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Nicholas Taylor, Peter Miller, Kerri Coomber, Richelle Mayshak, Renee Zahnow, Brittany Patafio, Michele Burn, Jason Ferris
BACKGROUND: Alcohol-related harm in night-time entertainment precincts (NEPs) is disproportionately high for the amount of alcohol consumed within these areas. Previous evaluations of alcohol restrictions targeting NEPs have often looked at restrictions in isolation and not attempted to create a comprehensive theoretical explanation that takes multiple restrictions into account. The aim of this review is to establish which restrictions have been adequately evaluated in previous literature, and to identify any research which may provide the basis for a theoretical model that explains the interactions between different alcohol restrictions in NEPs and their combined impact on alcohol-related-harm...
October 19, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Chris Wilkins, Jose S Romeo, Marta Rychert, Jitesh Prasad, Thomas Graydon-Guy
BACKGROUND: Small towns in New Zealand have reported high availability of methamphetamine, and conversely a shortage of cannabis. Stakeholders have suggested drug dealers are purposely promoting methamphetamine rather than cannabis. AIMS: (1) To compare the availability of methamphetamine and cannabis in different size communities; (2) Identify determinants of the high availability of methamphetamine, including low availability of cannabis. METHOD: An online drug survey was promoted via a broadly targeted Facebook™ campaign...
October 19, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Ruud T J Roodbeen, Karen Schelleman-Offermans, Paul H H M Lemmens
BACKGROUND: Dutch liquor store (off license) chains have voluntarily developed and implemented age limit control measures to increase compliance with the Licensing and Catering Act (LCA), aimed at prohibiting vendors from selling alcohol to minors (<18 years old). This study investigates differences between three liquor store chains in their style of self-regulation and how that affects compliance with the LCA in four domains (capturing processes in age verification, instructing staff, monitoring performance/providing feedback and imposing consequences)...
October 17, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
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