THE PROVISION OF FOIL IN NEEDLE AND SYRINGE PROGRAMMES IN THE UK: RESULTS FROM THE 2008 NNEF MEMBERS CONSULTATION ON FOIL
This report summarises the findings of a recent member survey conducted by the National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF) into the provision of aluminium foil through Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSPs) in the UK. Foil is provided as a harm reduction and route transition initiative, intended to facilitate injecting heroin users in moving away from their injecting behaviour towards a less harmful route of drug administration. However, this intervention is currently prohibited by the UK ‘paraphernalia law’ (Section 9A of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971).
The survey results clearly demonstrated that (a) there is a great deal of support from the field for the provision of aluminium foil as a harm reducing intervention, and (b) the current legal situation is proving to be a significant barrier to coverage of these interventions across the UK.
Based on the findings of this survey, and the other available evidence, the NNEF would like to see the law changed to allow needle exchanges to supply aluminium foil. The NNEF is also of the view that a detailed assessment and review of the UK drug paraphernalia laws is also needed.
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