Evidence of increase in injecting drug use found in 190 countries, report global reviews

Globally, 14.8 million folks aged 15–64 years are estimated to inject medication. Credit score: Shutterstock

Proof of a rise in injecting drug use at a worldwide stage highlights the necessity for improved protection of interventions to forestall and handle drug-related harms amongst individuals who inject medication (PWID), say two new evaluations led by researchers on the Nationwide Drug and Alcohol Analysis Middle (NDARC) and the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney.

Printed as we speak in The Lancet International Well being, the primary evaluate discovered proof of injecting drug use (IDU) amongst folks aged 15 to 64 years in 190 nations that comprise greater than 99% of the worldwide inhabitants, a rise of 10 nations for the reason that earlier evaluate in 2017.

This included eight nations in sub-Saharan Africa and two within the Caribbean.

Lead researcher, NDARC’s Scientia Professor Louisa Degenhardt, mentioned the panorama had modified for the reason that final evaluate, together with elevated assist for analysis throughout a number of low-income and middle-income nations, shifts in patterns of drug use, the event of targets for reductions in HIV and viral hepatitis an infection, and the inclusion of drug dependence remedy as one of many United Nations Sustainable Growth Objectives.

“Quantifying the scale of the inhabitants of PWID, their demographic traits, and the extent of their publicity to threat behaviors and environments is important to allow efficient well being coverage planning,” Prof. Degenhardt mentioned.

“We had a large give attention to private, environmental and structural dangers in mild of accelerating recognition {that a} holistic view is required to grasp how one can greatest reply to those adjustments.”

Professor Jason Grebely from the Kirby Institute mentioned the evaluate appeared on the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) an infection, the traits of PWID and patterns of drug use and threat historical past.

“Injecting drug use has now been documented in most nations and territories on this planet, and HIV and HCV an infection are prevalent in lots of populations of PWID,” Professor Grebely mentioned.

The outcomes present that PWID are susceptible to police arrest, incarceration, intercourse work, and the expertise of homelessness or unstable housing.

“All of those threat environments are related to elevated blood-borne virus transmission,” Prof. Degenhardt mentioned.

“There’s a clear want to deal with the structural and environmental drivers of vulnerability, threat, and hurt.”

Estimating hurt discount packages

The second evaluate, additionally printed in The Lancet International Well being, updates 2017 estimates of world protection of needle and syringe trade packages (NSPs), opioid agonist remedy (OAT), and different hurt discount providers that concentrate on PWID equivalent to supervised consumption amenities, drug checking providers, and take-home naloxone (THN) packages. Naloxone is a drug that may quickly reverse opioid overdose.

The evaluate discovered 90 nations—the place 75% of the PWID inhabitants reside—are implementing OAT and 94 nations are implementing NSPs (88% of the worldwide PWID inhabitants).

Solely 5 nations (2% of the worldwide PWID inhabitants) are offering excessive protection of each providers.

Far fewer nations are implementing THN packages, supervised consumption amenities, and drug checking providers, with 9 nations—Australia, Mexico, Canada, U.S., France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland—implementing all 5 providers.

“Globally, most PWID do not need entry to hurt discount providers designed to scale back the general public well being burden and enhance high quality of life,” Prof. Degenhardt mentioned.

“Whereas there was some progress towards improved service protection, upscaling is required to reply to the medical and social harms that many individuals face.”

Key info:

  • Proof of IDU was documented in 190 of 207 nations or territories that comprise greater than 99% of the worldwide inhabitants aged 15–64 years.
  • Globally, 14.8 million folks aged 15–64 years are estimated to inject medication.
  • Proof means that there are 2.76 million ladies and 12.065 million males who inject medication globally, and that 0.4% of PWID determine as transgender.
  • The quantity of accessible information on key well being and social dangers amongst individuals who inject medication assorted extensively throughout nations and areas. It’s estimated that 24.8% of people that inject medication globally had skilled current homelessness or unstable housing, 58.4% had a lifetime historical past of incarceration, and 14.9% had not too long ago engaged in intercourse work, with substantial geographical variation.
  • Injecting and sexual threat conduct assorted significantly geographically, as did dangers of harms. Globally, it’s estimated that 15.2% of people that inject medication reside with HIV, 38.8% have a present HCV an infection, 18.5% have not too long ago overdosed, and 31.7% have had a current pores and skin or delicate tissue an infection.

Extra data:
Louisa Degenhardt et al, Epidemiology of injecting drug use, prevalence of injecting-related hurt, and publicity to behavioural and environmental dangers amongst individuals who inject medication: a scientific evaluate, The Lancet International Well being (2023). DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(23)00057-8

Samantha Colledge-Frisby et al, International protection of interventions to forestall and handle drug-related harms amongst individuals who inject medication: a scientific evaluate, The Lancet International Well being (2023). DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(23)00058-X

Offered by
College of New South Wales

Proof of enhance in injecting drug use present in 190 nations, report international evaluations (2023, March 28)
retrieved 28 March 2023
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