Research Updates – W/C 05/09/2022

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Covid-19 and the opportunity for gender-responsive virtual and remote substance use treatment and harm reduction services

This commentary identifies how virtual and remote delivery of substance use treatment and harm reduction services can be gender responsive. The authors highlight the role gender transformative services play in meeting women’s needs and gender-diverse people who use drugs both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Access the commentary here.

Encouraging a ‘Generational Shift’ in the UKs relationship with drugs

Professor Harry Sumnall discusses the potential impacts of drug prevention activity outlined in the UK Government’s 10 year Drug Strategy, From Harm to Hope in this recently published commentary. Professor Sumnall considers the feasibility of achieving the outcomes around prevention in light of the current constraints on the UK prevention systems. Access here.

Making Legitimacy: Drug user representation in United Nations drug policy settings

This paper, also published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, examines drug user representation in key UN drug policy processes over three decades. The authors found that despite calls for greater involvement, UN policy discourses are still limited in their inclusion of people who use/have used drugs, and their capacity to bring their voices to the processes involved still needs improving. Access the full paper here.

The intersection of social work, substance use and mental health

The Advances in Dual Diagnosis journal is currently accepting submissions for the special issue ‘The intersection of social work, substance use and mental health’. This issue will highlight how social work can contribute to positive change regarding co-occurring substance use and mental health within the context of social work practice and multidisciplinary practice in a range of settings. An indivative list of anticipated themes includes:

  • Practice orientation
  • Theory to practice
  • Social work focus
  • Dual diagnosis and social work
  • Promotion of lived experience
  • Practice papers written by social workers in the field.

More information on submissions can be accessed here – deadline 30th September.

Premature mortality in people affected by co-occurring homelessness, justice involvement, opioid dependence, and psychosis

This recently published retrospective cohort study study explores premature mortality in people affected by co-occurring homelessness, justice involvement, opioid dependence and psychosis through a population-based approach. The authors found that the co-occurrence of at least two of these factors were associated with very high rates of premature mortality. Further work is required to examine the timing and sequencing of exposures to better understand the causal pathways underlying this excess mortality. Access the full paper here as well as an associated media summary.

Intersecting substance use treatment and harm reduction services

This study compares treatment and harm reduction services offered by a sample of substance use service providers and assessed how well they align with characteristics and needs of clients they serve. The study took place early in the COVID-19 pandemic and found that in many ways existing programs are not meeting the service needs of people who use drugs. More innovative models are required which empower individuals, and integrate a range of accessible and flexible treatment, harm reduction and social services. Access the paper here.

The views of family members of people who use drugs on the implementation of drug consumption rooms in Scotland

Another paper published in the Harm Reduction Journal explores family member perspectives on drug consumption room (DCR) implementation in Scotland in order to inform national policy. The authors found that family members demonstrated varying levels of understanding regarding the existence, role and function of DCRs. Challenges of stigma were raised, with belief that the introduction of DCRs would help reduce stigma and provide a space of safety and care for people who use drugs. Access the paper here.

An avoidable crisis

This perspective piece explores the difficulties of translating theory and evidence into practice within the drugs field in Scotland. The authors provide suggestions for pragmatic and humanitarian initiatives to help tackle this gap in policy development. Read the full paper here.

Categories: News & BlogPublished On: September 6, 2022

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