Chair Update

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So what has been happening within our field? Some very good things but, alas, some not so good. We at the NNEF know of some amazing, life saving projects that will become public in 2023 (Editors note: that previous sentence isn’t the original one… we had originally had a whole paragraph highlighting some fantastic projects, but then we remembered they haven’t been announced publicly yet… so yeah… 2023).

Update from NNEF Chair

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Wow, what a strange period we live in. A lot has happened since our last event in Birmingham back in December 2019. Drug Related Deaths are still, sadly, far too high, although, thankfully, there has not been much of an increase in some parts of the country that have adapted.


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The NNEF have now joined the membership of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC). The Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) was established in 1983 to provide a link between non governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Vienna-based agencies involved in setting drug policy: the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Acids and Water: Time to go back to basics

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One thing that has remained unchanged for our clients in the UK is that, when using brown heroin and crack cocaine, they need an acid and water source to prepare the drug for injection. Fortunately, one thing that has changed in the last 20 years is that they now have access to sterile acidifier powders and other paraphernalia as part of the harm reduction response. But new research published in 2019 (and showcased at the NNEF Forum in December 2019) highlights why these basic elements of needle exchange cannot be overlooked.

NNEF fully supports NAT’s briefing and recommendations

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A week ago, the National Aids Trust (NAT) published a briefing on the HIV outbreak in Glasgow. I was shocked and saddened when I first saw the figures of the HIV outbreak in Glasgow. (I thought it was bad enough in Birmingham, with around 20 cases in the last 18 months). If the high toll of Drug Related Deaths was not enough, HIV is rearing its ugly head, again. I really thought we buried that one years ago.

Monitoring of NSP Provision

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The number of individuals engaged in structured drug treatment programmes in England has declined over recent years, but this has been a trend which has occurred alongside another development, that of an increasing number of drug related deaths (DRDs), culminating last year with ONS reporting the highest number of DRDs on record. Delivery of needle and syringe programmes (NSP) in England is not monitored in the same way as drug treatment programmes, at least at a national level, but local monitoring systems provide information which points to a different picture than that which national drug treatment programme data might suggest.

Update from Interim Chair

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The last few months have seen some interesting developments. Sadly, Drug Related Deaths are still increasing and it is sad some areas have low naloxone coverage. In the next few weeks, I will be training Police officers on the use of naloxone. I am proud that the Birmingham City Centre Team will, hopefully, be the 1st Force in the UK to actually carry this life saving medication whilst patrolling the streets.

Message from the Interim Chair

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Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of updates in the last few months. As some of you may aware, Matt Johnson has stepped down as Chair and I have stepped up as Interim Chair. I would like to thank Matt for all the hard work he has done for the NNEF. He is now busy making a difference to many vulnerable and unfortunate people in Africa.

NNEF Chair Changing

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Please accept my apologies for lack of contact in recent weeks and months. Earlier this year my work situation changed which has involved long periods working overseas and as a result I have not been able to dedicate the time needed to the NNEF.

Fentanyl Alert

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After a number of overdose deaths in the last 5 months in Hull have now been linked to fentanyl contaminated heroin Public Health England (PHE) have released a formal alert thought their Central Alert System.
Needle Exchange

Discussion List

Here at the National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF), we also moderate an open access email discussion group to help connect our members and allies, and anyone interested in needle and syringe programmes in the UK. This is a Google group email list and we encourage anyone interested in getting more involved to join and connect with other likeminded colleagues.

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