The National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF) held its annual meeting on September 25th in Birmingham at the Tally-Ho conference centre. The meeting brings together members of the NNEF to present the latest news and updates on harm reduction for needle exchange workers, harm reduction advocates and service users.
There were presentations on the latest developments on Naloxone, updates from Public Health England as well as updates on the work of the NNEF over the past year. Alongside some of the presentations there were Overdose and Naloxone Training sessions delivered by NNEF Deputy Chair Philippe Bonnet and Kevin Jaffary.
Kirstie Douse from Release gave an update on the legal situation with naloxone that comes into effect on October 1st 2015.
Nigel Brunsdon from HIT and Injecting Advice gave some practical advice on what services can do to be ready to deliver a take home naloxone service.
Charlottow O’Halloran from PHE spoke about the extent of overdoses and naloxone uptake among injectors.
Rob Wolstenholme from PHE gave us an update on the work they have been doing.
Viv Hope from PHE spoke about the use of mephedrone among injectors.
Katelyn Cullen from PHE talked about the latest figures on neck injecting in England.
Chris Emmerson spoke about the differences between the risk behaviours of those who only use pharmacy NSP and those who use specialist services.
Jamie Bridge and Matt Johnstone spoke about the work of the last year for the NNEF, including results of a Freedom of Information request to map the number of NSPs in England and the launch of the NNEF Secret Shopper Project.
Joseph Kean from Nine Zero Five presented about the current patterns of steroid use in the UK.
Sara McGrail gave the closing keynote, speaking passionately about drug policy in the UK and how it is reflected in the rise in drug related deaths (which are at their highest since records began). She finished up by encouraging all drugs workers to make sure they’re in a union.
There where also presentations which didn’t include powerpoints from David Ryan-Mills (Home Office) speaking about the plans to evaluate provision of foil in UK needle programmes, and from Jim Conneely (HepC Trust) talking about developments in HepC treatment.