Mental health

Role of sterile injection equipment and outreach programmes for injecting drug users

Question 6: Does the provision of sterile injection equipment to injecting drug users reduce injecting related harm? Is advice on ways to reduce drug related harm safe and effective, using an outreach model of service delivery?

Management of substance abuse

  • Population: injecting drug users
  • Interventions:
    • provision of sterile injecting equipment and information regarding its use
    • basic psychosocial support/ linkage with other services
    • outreach
  • Comparison: placebo or treatment as usual
  • Outcomes:
    • injecting risk behaviours
      • pure needle sharing activities
      • extended needle sharing
      • borrowing/lending activities
    • linkage with treatment and other services
    • testing and counseling.

Recommendation(s)

In communities with a high prevalence of drug injection, primary health care providers should facilitate the provision of sterile injection equipment and retrieval of used equipment in primary care centres, through involvement of community pharmacies or through outreach programmes.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

In communities with a high prevalence of drug injection, and if resources allow, outreach programmes should be implemented to facilitate access to sterile injecting equipment (and retrieval), information, health care (including testing and counseling for HIV, and hepatitis) and facilitate entry to drug treatment.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile

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