Syringe/Needle Sharing, UK

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Harm Reduction

"The level of needle and syringe (direct) sharing reported by participants in the UAM Survey in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has declined from 33% in 2001 to 17% in 2011 (HPA 2012a; HPA 2012b). Direct sharing was reported by 17% of the participants in England (regional range: 11% to 23%), 11% of those in Wales, and 29% of those in Northern Ireland in 2010 (HPA 2012a; HPA 2012b). Throughout the period 2001 to 2011, direct sharing levels were consistently higher amongst those aged under 25 years than amongst older participants; in 2011, 24% of those aged under 25 years reported direct sharing compared with 17% of those aged 25 to 34 years and 16% of those aged 35 years and over (HPA 2012a; HPA 2012b).
"Sharing of any of the injecting equipment asked about the in the UAM Survey (i.e. needles, syringes, mixing containers, water or filters; direct and indirect sharing) was reported by 37% of those participating in the survey in 2011. Sharing of any of this equipment was reported by 38% of the participants in England (regional range: 31% to 49%), by 32% in Wales, and by 37% in Northern Ireland in 2009 (HPA 2012a).
"In Scotland, data from the Scottish Drug Misuse Database indicates that 7% of PWID reported current needle and syringe sharing in 2010/11, this is a decline from 12% during 2006/07 (ISD Scotland 2012a)."


UK Focal Point on Drugs, "United Kingdom Drug Situation 2012 Edition: Annual Report to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)" (London, England: UK Government, Department of Health, October 31, 2012), p. 114.

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