WEDINOS now provides a robust mechanism for the collection and testing of unknown / unidentified or new psychoactive substances and combinations of substances, and the production and dissemination of pragmatic harm reduction advice. Samples may now be submitted by anyone in Wales. Following analysis of the samples, timely and accurate information regarding the chemical profile of the samples tested alongside pragmatic harm reduction information, based on the content and legal context, will be made available through a variety of means including the website, health alerts via press release and the quarterly bulletin ‘PHILTRE’.
Public Health Wales - Take home naloxone report 15/16
The detailed report includes data on training and the provision of THN kits from 49 different registries across Wales throughout April – March 2016.
Some of the key highlights from the report include:
- 10,552 kits have been issued across Wales since the pilot commenced in July 2009; of which 3,186 kits were supplied or resupplied in 2015/16.
- Naloxone was most frequently administered in friends, relatives or partners houses (35%) or at home (26%).
- There was an increase of 176 in the number of THN kits used compared to the previous year and on average 71% were female compared to 29% who were male.
- 53% more kits were replenished in 2015/16 than in the previous year.
- The most common reason for resupply was ‘kits lost’.
- The mean age for new clients receiving THN kits was 36 years of age.
Since its launch Naloxone has proven to be successful in reducing a number of fatalities through drug poisoning across Wales.
Medically Supervised Injection Centres – Research
According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the world’s first MSIC opened in Berne in Switzerland in 1986. Today, there are 74 official facilities operating in six EMCDDA reporting countries, with 12 in Switzerland alone.
While the United Kingdom has no such centres at present, there are plans to open an MSIC in Dublin, while talks are being held in Scotland to do the same. And, in Wales, officials are coming to the end of a six-month consultation into introducing a centre here.
Ifor Glyn is regional director of Drugaid Cymru, Wales’s largest third sector harm reduction agency. He said: “There is a growing acceptance and evidence that providing safe and supervised injecting centres is a recognised harm reduction initiative that can lead to saving lives, encourage engagement with treatment services, and help reduce HIV and hepatitis C infections. They also address public concerns about discarded needles and public injecting.”
Drugaid Cymru has been leading a multi-agency steering group set up to investigate the prospect of introducing an MSIC in Wales. Members include leading figures from academia, public health and the Welsh Government. Delegates have visited the MSIC in Sydney, along with the Ana Liffey Drugs Project in Dublin which is close to opening Ireland’s first centre.
Ifor said: “While there might be a need for different models for different communities, there are a lot of commonalities, and much that can be learned from those who are established or moving toward being operational.”
He added: “It is hoped that the Welsh government’s delivery plan for 2016 to 2018 will reference the need to develop a case for a medically supervised injecting centre.”