What works to reduce drugs-related litter?: An evidence review
PHE ePoster Library. Powers C. Sep 10, 2018; 221340; 13
Cassandra Powers
Cassandra Powers
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Abstract
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Abstract IntroductionDrugs-related litter can cover a range of materials: syringes, foils, swabs, etc. It presents a small health risk to the public; however, such litter can cause upset and anxiety for individuals and the community. In 2005, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) published guidance on managing drugs related litter making 14 recommendations. As part of a council scrutiny inquiry into drugs-related litter in Southampton, an evidence review was conducted to update this guidance. MethodsFive databases were searched for this review: PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline, and Web of Science. Papers were reviewed by title (n=599), abstract (n=462), and a full read (n=94) for inclusion [papers with drug litter outcomes]. Papers published prior to 2005; papers not in English; case studies, editorials, dissertations, and conference posters; and work in middle or low-income countries were excluded. ResultsA total of 21 papers were included in the final review. Half of the papers focused on Safer Injecting Facilities (SIFs) including the two systematic reviews. The other papers looked at needle exchange (NEPs), sharps bins and “safe city” enforcement programmes. ConclusionThe review supports the recommendations from Defra. Several papers noted that no single solution alone will address drugs-related litter and a combination of measures is advised. Three interventions were identified as having evidence of reducing drugs-related litter: SIFs, NEPs, and sharps bins in public toilets. Another three had little impact on the reduction of drugs-related litter: increased police enforcement, 'One-for-One' NEPs, and very public or unlabelled public sharps bins.
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