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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 6, pp 446–450 | Cite as

Harm Reduction Product Distribution in British Columbia

  • Stephanie S. Harvard
  • Warren D. Hill
  • Jane A. Buxton
Article

Abstract

Objectives

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) tracks the distribution of all harm reduction products subsidized by the BC government, including needles and syringes, sterile water vials, alcohol swabs, condoms, and lubricant. This study measures the distribution of harm reduction products in BC, identifies regional variation in distribution, and estimates the supply/demand ratio for needle and syringe units.

Methods

Using three years of administrative data (2004–2006) from the BCCDC, the quantity of harm reduction products distributed was calculated by Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA). Regional hepatitis C virus (HCV) case report rates were calculated to reflect potential variation in IDU populations at the HSDA-level and the number of needle and syringe units distributed per reported case of HCV was calculated and ranked by HSDA. To compare the demand for sterile injecting equipment to the distribution, the number of illicit drug injections per year was approximated using established estimates of IDU populations in BC and Vancouver.

Results

Marked regional variation exists in the rates of harm reduction product distribution per 100,000 residents aged 15–64. The average number of needle and syringe units distributed annually in BC from 2004–2006 was 5,382,933. The estimated number of injections per year in BC is 24,951,144, suggesting the province distributed 21.5% of the units required to cover all illicit drug injections in the province.

Discussion

Harm reduction product distribution is not equitable between BC HSDAs. The current level of distribution of sterile injecting equipment is inadequate to provide a clean needle for every injection.

Keywords

Harm reduction needle-exchange programs British Columbia substance abuse intravenous 

Résumé

Objectifs

Le BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) suit la distribution des produits de réduction des méfaits subventionnés par le gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique (aiguilles et seringues, flacons d’eau stérilisée, compresses alcoolisées, condoms, lubrifiants). Nous avons voulu mesurer la distribution de ces produits dans la province, repérer les écarts régionaux dans cette distribution et estimer l’écart entre l’offre et la demande pour les ensembles seringue-aiguille.

Méthode

Nous avons calculé le nombre de produits de réduction des méfaits distribués par zone de prestation de services de santé (Health Service Delivery Area, HSDA) en prenant trois années de données administratives du BCCDC (2004 à 2006). Nous avons aussi calculé les taux de déclaration régionaux des cas d’infection par le virus de l’hépatite C (VHC) pour tenir compte des écarts possibles dans les populations d’utilisateurs de drogue par injection (UDI) dans chaque zone, puis calculé et classé selon la zone le nombre d’ensembles seringue-aiguille distribués par cas déclaré de VHC. Pour comparer la demande d’accessoires d’injection stériles aux quantités distribuées, nous avons calculé le nombre approximatif d’injections de drogues illicites par année à l’aide des estimations établies des populations d’UDI en Colombie-Britannique et à Vancouver.

Résultats

Il existe des écarts régionaux marqués dans les taux de distribution des produits de réduction des méfaits par tranche de 100 000 habitants (15 à 64 ans). Le nombre moyen d’ensembles seringue-aiguille distribués annuellement dans la province entre 2004 et 2006 était de 5 382 933. Le nombre estimatif d’injections par année dans la province était de 24 951 144, ce qui donne à penser que la Colombie-Britannique n’a distribué que 21,5 % des ensembles nécessaires à toutes les injections de drogues illicites sur son territoire.

Discussion

La répartition des produits de réduction des méfaits entre les zones de prestation de services de santé de la Colombie-Britannique est inégale. Les quantités actuelles d’accessoires d’injection stériles que l’on distribue sont insuffisantes pour que chaque injection se fasse avec une aiguille propre.

Mots clés

réduction des méfaits programmes d’échange de seringues Colombie-Britannique toxicomanie drogue intraveineuse 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie S. Harvard
    • 1
  • Warren D. Hill
    • 2
  • Jane A. Buxton
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.BC Centre for Disease ControlVancouverCanada
  3. 3.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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