The Exchange: Issue 39; 2017

Safe Injecting Facilities

Safer Injection Facilities are very much in the news this past week.  As the US opioid crisis continues, discussions on the implementation of new SIF locations are being discussed.  Good news, from a country that has seen many states reluctantly introduce Needle Exchange services in recent time.  Locations are being discussed in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Ithaca, NY, Washington DC and in the Cape Cod area of M.assachusetts.

Data from a John Hopkins study indicates that a single facility, serving 2,000 individuals per month would cost $1.8M to run but the savings in healthcare costs, including emergency personnel, ambulances and the potential transmission of drug related disease such as HIV and Hepatitis C add up to about $7.8M.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, Australia, the Premier of Victoria has added his objection to a SIF in the North Richmond suburb of that city.  This objection flies in the face of scientific evidence, support from local medical and law enforcement officials and the experience had from the King’s Cross SIF in neighbouring Sydney.

The Fentanyl plague continues to spread

Fentanyl continues to spread its evil claws around the world with the first reported cases reported in Northern Ireland.  Following over 60 deaths from Fentanyl overdose in the UK so far this year, authorities in the province are concerned.

Fentanyl importation has reached shocking levels in the US as law enforcement agencies in New York have seized over $30M worth of the substance over the past 2 months.

Efforts by Health Authorities in British Columbia, Canada are having a tangible positive effect with a significant reduction in the number of over-doses.