Scottish Drugs Forum hosted a national conference to look at the current situation with drug-related deaths in Scotland, what actions are taking place to try to reduce the numbers of people who die every year and what could be done differently. Drug-related deaths in Scotland continue to be among the highest in Europe and in 2012, 581 people lost their lives. The tragedy is that the majority of these deaths were preventable.
The conference called on a range of experience both internationally and nationally to address the causes of death among people who use drugs and allowed opportunities for networking, sharing good practice and planning for the future.
Speakers and presentations
Dan is a founder and the Director of the Chicago Recovery Alliance. Since 1991 in daily harm reduction outreach, CRA has served the health promotion needs of over 250,000 unique individuals injecting drugs in Chicagoland. CRA assists any positive change as a person describes it for him/herself. Led by the expertise of CRA’s participants CRA has developed health promotion efforts over the last 24 years which address the current threats and concerns of those using our outreach. Among those efforts has been viral hepatitis prevention as the gold- standard of safer injection, STI testing, vaccination, and CRA developed the first overdose intervention program with naloxone in 1996. To date, CRA has reached over 34,000 people with OD prevention using naloxone and has received over 5,200 reports of lay OD reversal. More information is available at the Chicago Recovery Alliance website.
Jason Wallace is the Naloxone Training and Support Officer based at Scottish Drugs Forum, whose remit involves leading on the National Naloxone Peer Education Initiative. He chairs the National Volunteer Forum on Drug-Related Deaths, is a member of the National Forum on DRD's and the National Naloxone Advisory Group in Scotland. He began working with SDF as a volunteer Peer Researcher in 2006 and was involved in the take home naloxone pilot in Glasgow the following year. He successfully completed SDF’s award winning Addiction Worker Training Project in 2013.
Professor John Strang
Professor John Strang is Director of the National Addiction Centre (NAC), Head of the Addictions Department at King’s College London and is Leader of the Addictions Clinical Academic Group of the Kings Health Partners AHSC (Academic Health Science Centre). He has also been an addictions psychiatrist for over 30 years, and has led the group at the Maudsley/Institute for many years.
Professor Strang has published over 400 scientific papers in the addiction field and is one of only five addictions researchers outside North America to be identified by ISI (the Institute for Scientific Analysis) as a “Highly Cited Author” and he is the only one in Europe who is also a clinician. His published co-edited books include ‘Addiction Research Methods’ and ‘Drug Policy and the Public Good’. With colleagues, he has been at the forefront of charting the strange clusterings of heroin overdose deaths, and has identified untapped potential for overdose resuscitation interventions by family and friends, to prevent deaths while awaiting ambulance. He recently Chaired the Expert Group producing ‘Medications and Recovery (2012)’
Professor Sheila Bird
Sheila Bird OBE FRSE is visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde's Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Programme Leader at the MRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge. She has been a Medicines Commissioner, was the first statistician on the Appraisal Committee of UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), and has served on four Royal Statistical Society Working Parties as well as on various Medical Research Council, UK government and EU Working Parties and Groups.
Bird gave oral evidence to the Science and Technology Select Committee Inquiries into Scientific Advice in Emergencies and to its current inquiry into the Safety of Blood, Tissue and Organ Screening. Her research interests include UK dietary exposure to BSE and autopsy surveillance for carriage of sub-clinical variant CJD; record-linkage studies for quantitative understanding of the morbidity and mortality of injection-related Hepatitis C and of drug treatment clients; randomized controlled trial of naloxone-on-release for reducing the very high risk of opioid-related death soon after prison- release (N-ALIVE Trial); and, more generally, the application of statistical methods to the criminal justice system's treatment of drug-dependent offenders.
Chris is a Senior Social Work Practitioner for the the Addiction Service within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in NI. He has particular responsibility for assessing and meeting the needs of people with addiction who are deemed to be Vulnerable Adults.
As U- Turn Training he and Buff (Iain Cameron) provided the world's first and only interactive, free overdose response app for Android and iOS phones and tablets. Apart for harm reduction Chris enjoys motorcycling, running silly distances and mountaineering.
Bob joined the Scottish Prison Service in August 1988 and has served at HMP Perth, Friarton and Castle Huntly during his 26 years. His current role at HMP & YOI Grampian is Separation and Reintegration Unit Manager and Addictions Coordinator. Bob joined the Substance Misuse Team as Caseworker at HMP Perth in 2002 and moved to HMP Castle Huntly in 2005, assuming the role of Interventions Officer. In 2007 he became Addictions Coordinator at HMP Castle Huntly (The Open Estate) with specific responsibilities for monitoring the contract of Phoenix Futures, improving and developing methods to tackle issues around substance misuse and working alongside partners with similar interests. In 2009 he encompassed the role of Violence Against Women Coordinator at the Open Estate before transferring to HMP & YOI Grampian in 2014. He is currently the Addictions Coordinator in Scotland’s newest prison with a remit to enhance and support the services provided to the population by partners working within Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City. In addition, he supports NHS Grampian’s delivery of a substance misuse service within the prison and is a key stakeholder in the establishment’s Substance Misuse Strategy.
Dr Carole Hunter
Dr Carole Hunter is the Lead Pharmacist for the Addiction Services in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Carole's pharmacy degree was obtained at Robert Gordon's in Aberdeen in 1978. She has extensive experience in community pharmacy in Scotland and England and owned her own pharmacy for 10 years in the 1990s. During that time she established one of the area's first pharmacy needle exchanges. In 2003 she succeeded Kay Roberts as Area Pharmacy Specialist in Drug Misuse for NHS Greater Glasgow.
She was appointed in Dec 2009 to the Scottish Government’s Drug Strategy Delivery Commission. She is a member of the National Forum on Drug- Related Deaths and currently chairs the National Naloxone Advisory Group. Since 1990 she has been a Doping Control Officer with the UK Antidoping programme and has been a member of the drug testing teams at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and London 2012 Olympics.
Dr Saket Priyadarshi
Dr Saket Priyadarshi is a Senior Medical Officer and Lead Clinician in Greater Glasgow and Clyde addiction services. He is a graduate of the University of Glasgow medical school and after training in Glasgow and working in South Africa, he qualified as a General Practitioner in 2003. Through working in deprived areas in the west of Scotland, he developed an interest in the management of substance misuse problems. As well as his clinical duties, Saket is involved in teaching and research, particularly on outcomes with opiate substitute treatment.
Saket is vice-chair of the Scottish Government's National Forum on Drug Related Deaths and member of the Scottish Government’s Expert Group for Opiate Replacement Therapies.
Dr Lesley Graham (Conference Chair)
Lesley is the Public Health Lead for Drugs, Alcohol and Offender Health at the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland. She has been active in the substance misuse field for many years including in epidemiology; policy development and evaluation; research and teaching. In recent years, she has undertaken secondments to the Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Government. She was lead author of the first report from the National Drug Related Death Database, published in 2010 and of the WHO report Alcohol Problems in the Criminal Justice System: an opportunity for intervention.
This poster was designed during the conference. It's based on the speakers' presentations and the event as a whole. You can also download the image as a large PDF file.
Below are photos from the conference and the pre-conference harm reduction cafe event.