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HR17: Overamping Is a Common Problem Among People Who Use Stimulants

Overdosing on stimulants such as methamphetamine -- known as "overamping" -- is an under-recognized problem in a harm reduction community that more often focuses on opioid overdose, according to a presentation at the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference this week in Montreal.

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HR17: Drug Checking Reveals High Levels of Fentanyl Contamination

A pilot project to check the purity of drugs at Vancouver's Insite safe injection facility found that around 80% of tested samples contained fentanyl, and people who learned their drugs were contaminated were more likely to reduce their doses and less likely to overdose, researchers reported at the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference this week in Montreal.

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27 Million People in U.S. Use Illicit Drugs, Harm Reduction Not Keeping Pace

Nearly 21 million people in the United States struggle with substance use disorders, according to a new report, Facing Addiction in America: Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, released this week. Another new report by Harm Reduction International finds that harm reduction services are not adequate in the U.S. or worldwide, though the U.S. has seen some recent improvements.

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HR17: Hydromorphone Works as Well as Heroin-Assisted Drug Addiction Treatment

Hydromorphone was as effective as pharmaceutical heroin for opioid addiction treatment, but it was associated with fewer serious side effects, according to results from the SALOME trial presented at the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference this week in Montreal.

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FDA Approves First Long-Lasting Buprenorphine Implant for Opioid Maintenance Therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month approved the first-ever buprenorphine implant -- to be marketed under the brand name Probuphine -- which provides a steady dose of the drug over 6 months for people who are receiving opioid substitution therapy to manage dependence or addiction.

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HR17: AA Amyloidosis Is an Unrecognized Problem Among People Who Inject Drugs

AA amyloidosis, a condition resulting from skin and soft tissue infections that can lead to kidney failure, may be more common than previously recognized among people who inject drugs, according to a presentation at the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference this week in Montreal.

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Hydromorphone as Effective as Pharmaceutical Heroin for Managing Opioid Dependence

Hydromorphone and pharmaceutical-grade heroin (diacetylmorphine) are both equally effective for the management of chronic heroin addiction among people who have not previously benefitted from medication-assisted treatment using methadone or buprenorphine, according to results from the SALOME study published in the April 6 online edition of JAMA Psychiatry.

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10. Not Enough Syringe Programs for People Who Inject Drugs

The opioid epidemic in the U.S. -- with its attendant risk of overdose and HIV and viral hepatitis transmission -- remained a concern in 2016, with new data showing that many people who inject drugs do not have consistent access to sterile syringes.

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Drug Overdoses Rising, Many Users Have No Access to Clean Needle Programs

Drug overdose deaths, primarily due to prescription pain relievers and heroin, have risen dramatically in the U.S. -- now exceeding deaths in motor vehicle accidents -- with opioids accounting for more than 28,000 deaths in 2014, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another recent report found a lack of syringe exchange programs in rural and suburban areas, which account for much of the rise in HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs.

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