Harm reduction for stimulant injectors

Harm reduction for stimulant injectors

The risks for people who inject stimulants differ from those of opioid injectors, mainly because the former tend to inject more times during a day (therefore needle and syringe exchange programmes need to be implemented differently).

What works?

  • Outreach treatment programmes help stimulant injectors to reduce medical problems, such as skin infections

What's unclear?

  • It is not clear if provision of large volumes of sterile injection equipment (in general, stimulant injectors inject more often than opioid users, thus need more syringes), provision of condoms or outreach activities focusing on injecting and risky sexual behaviours can help stimulant injectors
  • It is not clear if injection kits adapted to local drug use patterns, such as for people that inject home-made stimulants (e.g. distribution of specific paraphernalia for the production of drugs), can help to reduce harms
  • It is not clear if dissemination of information on how to inject safely, basic hygiene (hand washing, short nails), vein care and simple wound care as well as distribution of antibacterial creams and ointments can help to reduce harms

What doesn't work?

  • We are not aware of interventions for stimulant injectors that cause harm

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