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December 15, 2017


The 2017 Needle Syringe Program (NSP) National Minimum Data Collection Report has recently been released.  This is the second annual national data report which presents national and state/territory NSP data for the 2016/17 financial year.  Australia currently operates 3,627 NSPs around the country and during the 2016/17 reporting year, 49 million needles and syringes were distributed in Australia.  Of that amount, over 10 million needles and syringes were distributed by Queensland NSPs.

Data was collected on a nominated snapshot day in February 2017 for participating NSPs. Among young people (aged less than 25 years) attending NSPs on the snapshot day, 35% reported injecting stimulants, 31% reported injecting anabolic steroids and 20% reported injecting opioids. NSPs play a key role in the prevention of blood-borne viruses, including the provision of safe injecting equipment, information on reducing drug related harms and referral to support services.

Read the full report here (2.90MB PDF)

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November 30, 2017


Last year we blogged a story from the Anex Bulletin about the introduction of the Korean made 1ml Terumo syringes that have been causing problems for people who inject. Needle and Syringe Programs around the country began receiving complaints about the new syringes including blunt or weak needles and difficult-to-use plungers.  You can read about it here.

In response to this issue a new range of 1ml syringes have been released in Australia and the Queensland launch for the new Unisharp 1ml Syringe happened this week. Andrew Preston, Managing Director of Exchange Supplies has presented a one hour webinar for Insight Queensland explaining the history of the Unisharp coloured syringes and provides all the information needed for workers supporting clients who are injecting drug users.

You can watch it here.

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June 2, 2017


The Pharmacy Guild of Queensland have developed an app that allows people to find their nearest needle and syringe program. The directory includes 730 registered pharmacies that provide injecting equipment, as well as 140 public needle and syringe programs. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices. To download the free app, simply go to the Google Play store, or the Apple App Store and type in "Qld Needle and syringe program." A PDF flier is available to assist in promoting the app to clients. You can download the flier or find out more information here.

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October 28, 2016


Wheel filters are designed to be used by people who inject, in order to filter out particles and other contaminants prior to injecting.  Particles and contaminants can cause significant harm, and using wheel filters can help to reduce these harms.  Wheel filters can be a bit tricky to use, and so to help workers explain the process to clients, Dovetail has made a short demonstration video.  Many Queensland Needle and Syringe Programs stock wheel filters, which usually cost $1 or $2 each.  To find the location of a Needle and Syringe Program in your local area, go to the Queensland Needle and Syringe Program location guides.

Click here to watch "How to use a wheel filter"

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October 14, 2016


In September the Penington Institute revived the Anex Bulletin after a two year break. Anex Bulletin is a quartlery online magazine focused on Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) workers across Australia. The September Issue covers a range of topics including a great article about the new antiviral treatments for Hep C and how NSPs can support the roll out by promoting the treatment to their clients. There is also an article about the Korean made 1ml Terumo syringes that have been causing problems for injecting drug users and a fascinating insight into the injecting ritual in a piece called "The lure of the needle".

Click here to subscribe and read the Anex Bulletin

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November 12, 2015


The Step-by-Step Toolkit is intended for harm reduction service providers with limited experience of working with children and young people who inject drugs. This tool is the result of a partnership between Harm Reduction International (HRI), Youth Rise, International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Save the Children and was developed in response to HRI research on injecting drug use among under 18s globally that highlighted gaps in the response for this group.

Read more and dwonload the toolkit here

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October 28, 2015


The key findings from the Illicit Drug Reorting System (IDRS) 2015 have been released with a supplementary report on drug injection trends from the Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey (ANSPS) 1995-2014. There were 888 participants interviewed for the IDRS and heroin remained the most commonly reported drug of choice for participants who inject drugs. The frequency of use of all forms of Methamphetamine remained stable though the use of crystal methamphetamine increased significantly and the use of powdered speed decreased significantly.

To read more and download the reports here

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July 3, 2015


The National Drug Research Institute and Monash University have published the outcomes of a national consultation around steroid use, titled "Understanding and responding to the rise of steroid injecting in Australia".  The authors found that there are significant gaps in knowledge about steroid use, as well as a lack of integration of harm reduction messages.  The authors also found that there have been some recent policy, legal and regulatory responses to steroid use which have been implemented too hastily, without an evidence base and that some of these policy responses may in fact increase harms to people who use steroids.

Download "Understanding and responding to the rise of steroid injecting in Australia" (1.3MB PDF)

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February 6, 2015


The National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) is commencing a research project on the use of steroids in Australia.  In preparing the study, the researchers are seeking input from health professionals, policy makers and other key stakeholders to better understand the current situation with regards to steroid use in Australia.  The researchers are seeking to better understand the key issues for future research, potential gaps in current knowledge and how to ensure future research is relevant to the professional needs of workers.  The consultation involves a telephone or in-person interview that take approximately 30 minutes.

More information or to participate in the consultation here.

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December 12, 2014


A research report has been published by an Irish alcohol and drug service titled "Examining the profile and perspectives of individuals attending harm reduction services who are users of performance and image enhancing drugs."  While the report is based on a sample of people from Ireland, there are many similarities with Australian people who use performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs).  This research report involved a survey of people attending needle and syringe programs, and sought to find out demographics, motivations for use, the nature of the participants use of PIEDs, side effects experienced, patterns of poly-substance use, training / exercise profile, injecting practices and risk behaviours.

Download "Examining the profile and perspectives of individuals attending harm reduction services who are users of performance and image enhancing drugs."

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