Child centred harm reduction
This commentary explores a sub-field of drug policy at the intersection of harm reduction and childhood, referred to as ‘child-centred harm reduction’. The authors provide a definition and conceptual model, as well as explore illustrative questions that emerge through a child-centred harm reduction lens. The authors argue that while much work is underway in this area, there is a need for greater recognition, analysis and support. Access here.
Patient, family members and community pharmacists’ views of a proposed overdose prevention intervention for patients prescribed high-strength opioids for chronic non-cancer pain
This qualitative study explores views on a naloxone intervention for people prescribed high-strength opioids for chronic non-caner pain delivered via community pharmacies. Interviews were conducted with eight patients, four family members and two community pharmacists. The authors concluded that while patients had low overdose knowledge and did not see themselves as being at risk of opioid overdose, they were receptive to naloxone use and positive about the proposed intervention. Access the paper here.
Understanding substance use and the wider support needs of Scotland’s prison population
This research study, commissioned by the Scottish Government, explores the substance use support needs of people in prison. This is one of four studies into the health needs of Scotland’s prison population. The core elements of the study focused on semi-structured interviews with a broad range of professional stakeholder groups, creation of a short life working group including partners from the Scottish Prisons Service, NHS and Third Sector, and interviews with those who have lived and/or living experience. These methods were supplemented with a rapid literature review, a review of existing data, and a mapping exercise. This needs assessment provides four high-level key recommendations, alongside a larger set of 22 outcome-based recommendations. The high level set includes:
- Better consistency and continuity of care should be achieved through the negotiation and agreement of detailed partnership collaborations between all key partners involved in the commissioning and delivery of substance use services and supports across prisons.
- A multi-agency, multiple and complex needs working group should be convened by Scottish Government to operationalise the learning from this needs assessment.
- There should be coherent, national oversight and governance of progress towards achieving all the outcome-based recommendations, through the instigation of an independent National Oversight and Assurance Group.
- The Scottish Prisons Service, private prisons, and Integration Authorities should consistently and fully implement the MAT Standards across all of Scotland’s prisons.
Access the full report here.
Exploring how greenspace programmes might be effective in supporting people with problem substance use: A realist interview study
This recently published paper aims to test, refine and consolidate a proposed realist-informed intervention framework to show how greenspace programmes could support people with problem substance use. The authors found that the use of the framework shows how greenspace programmes can help with feelings of escape, spaces to reflect, promote physical activity and support relationship development. The findings have practical relevance for the design of greenspace programmes and substance use interventions. Access the paper here.
Negotiating an illicit economy in the time of COVID-19: Selling and buying dilemmas in the lives on people who use drugs in Scotland
This paper is part of a study exploring the health impacts of COVID-19 related control measures on people who use drugs in Scotland, examining their roles and decisions as economically situated actors. Findings include that this population group were affected by restrictions in the drug consumption context and changes in the supply, both in terms of what was supplied and changes in the relationship between sellers and buyers. Full access here.
A realist review of how community-based drug checking services could be designed and implemented to promote engagement of people who use drugs
To explore the contexts and mechanisms which impact engagement in community-based drug checking services, this study conducted a realist review to synthesise the international evidence for the delivery and implementation of drug checking services. The authors findings have relevance to hose wishing to optimise, tailor and implement services in a variety of settings. Access the paper here.
Challenges for drug checking services in Scotland: A qualitative exploration of police perceptions
This study explores police officer perceptions of drug checking services, including views on the policing and legal challenges which could be encountered with delivery in Scotland. The authors found that participants expressed general support for drug checking and described this support as a wider organisational shift towards public-health orientated policing. The paper concludes with suggested opportunities to develop approaches to policing that can facilitate rather than impede implementation and operation of these services. You can access the paper here.