Drugs Uncut
‘From then to now: HIV, heroin and harm reduction in Scotland’ with Dr Roy Robertson

‘From then to now: HIV, heroin and harm reduction in Scotland’ with Dr Roy Robertson

December 17, 2020

Dr Roy Robertson has worked as a GP in Edinburgh since 1980, where he was at the forefront of identifying and taking steps to address the emerging dual public health crises of HIV and injecting heroin use. He is also Professor of Addiction Medicine in the University of Edinburgh Usher Institute.

Throughout his career, Roy has consistently had to challenge the status quo to support the vulnerable people in his care, whilst simultaneously informing the rest of the world through a range of research and policy work.

In this episode, Roy discusses what it was like in the early days of the HIV epidemic in Edinburgh in the 1980s, reflects on his years of practice, and provides insight into the potential solutions to addressing Scotland’s on-going public health emergency - drug overdose deaths.

This episode was recorded especially for World AIDS Day and before the tragic drug-related death figures for Scotland in 2019 were announced on the 15th of December 2020.

‘Irn Bru and Mars Bars - Researching drug-related issues’ with Dr Andrew McAuley

‘Irn Bru and Mars Bars - Researching drug-related issues’ with Dr Andrew McAuley

June 29, 2020

Dr Andrew McAuley is currently Senior Epidemiologist within the Blood Borne Virus and Sexually Transmitted Infections team at NHS Public Health Scotland where he has a lead role for projects involving people who inject drugs.

In this episode, Andrew talks to us about his research relating to HIV, naloxone, the Needle Exchange Surveillance Initiative (NESI) and more, including why Glasgow has the most compelling case in Europe for a Drug Consumption Room.

‘Has COVID-19 prompted real action on homelessness?’ with Hugh Hill

‘Has COVID-19 prompted real action on homelessness?’ with Hugh Hill

June 2, 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, street homelessness in Scotland was almost eradicated overnight through the use of hotels to accommodate people who have been rough sleeping.
 
In this episode, we are joined by Hugh Hill, Director of Services and Development at The Simon Community Scotland - who have been instrumental in providing support to those temporary accommodated - to discuss the lockdown and the unexpected benefits for some people living on the Scotland’s streets; how services have struggled and improved; and what happens when lockdown eases.

 

‘Recognising Burnout’ for Mental Health Awareness Week with Katy MacLeod

‘Recognising Burnout’ for Mental Health Awareness Week with Katy MacLeod

May 22, 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week is held every year in May to highlight issues relating to mental health and wellbeing - things that are particularly pertinent during the current COVID-19 lockdown.

This year, the theme is kindness. Being kind to others can go a long way, but being kind to yourself is just as important.

In this bonus podcast episode, we are joined by Katy MacLeod, SDF's National Training and Development Officer to discuss burnout - including how to recognise it and what steps can be taken to address it.

‘Harm reduction disruption’ with Sophie Given

‘Harm reduction disruption’ with Sophie Given

May 18, 2020

The COVID-19 lockdown has led to harm reduction services having to adapt to find ways of maintaining provision and support to people who rely on them.

In this episode, the second looking at responses to the outbreak, we are joined by Sophie Given, Scottish Drugs Forum's Officer for Harm Reduction and Emergency Responses, to find out how the lockdown is impacting on people's access to harm reduction services, such as sterile injecting equipment, and how services are adapting through innovation and collaboration.

‘Sprint to Marathon: Delivering services under lockdown’ with David Liddell

‘Sprint to Marathon: Delivering services under lockdown’ with David Liddell

April 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought much of the world to a halt, but people continue to need vital support with their substance use.

In this episode, the first of a series looking at responses to the outbreak, we are joined by Scottish Drugs Forum's CEO, David Liddell, to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting both people who use drugs and treatment and harm reduction services in Scotland; and the guidance available to those planning and delivering services at this time.

‘Voices of value’ with Jason Wallace

‘Voices of value’ with Jason Wallace

February 3, 2020

There is an expectation that services and planners include people in decisions that directly affect their lives. So why does this rarely happen when decisions are being made that affect people who are experiencing drug problems?

This is now one of the most pressing questions facing the drugs field in Scotland and beyond.

In this episode Jason Wallace, SDF's Senior Development Officer for Volunteering and Engagement, joins us to discuss what the perceived barriers to engaging with people are and how they can be overcome.

Jason describes a pioneering initiative in Glasgow that provides a safe space for people who use drugs to discuss issues, raise these with service providers and others and to hold people to account.

We were also delighted to chat with a member of the group, Martin, and also SDF Peer Research Volunteer, Matthew, to discuss what opportunities like the above initiative means to the people attending.

‘Heroin-assisted treatment - New service, new hope’ with Danny Ahmed and Dr Carole Hunter

‘Heroin-assisted treatment - New service, new hope’ with Danny Ahmed and Dr Carole Hunter

December 24, 2019

The new 'Enhanced Drug Treatment Service' in Glasgow has opened it's doors and offers Heroin-Assisted Treatment (HAT) - the prescribing and distribution of injectable diamorphine - as one of it's main provisions.

In this episode, we talk about the merits of the new service and hear from two key individuals in the delivery of HAT in England and Scotland.

We speak to Danny Ahmed of Foundations Teeside and Dr Carole Hunter of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to find out about how the services operate, what challenges have been overcome and how the services will aim to make a difference in people's lives.

‘The task ahead’ with Professor Catriona Matheson

‘The task ahead’ with Professor Catriona Matheson

November 27, 2019

In this episode we discuss the Scottish Government's 'Drug Deaths Taskforce' that has been convened in response to the worsening drug overdose crisis that is currently enveloping Scotland.

We hear from Professor Catriona Matheson, Chair of the Taskforce, about how the first two meetings have gone and what the group hopes to achieve.

Also, Kirsten Horsburgh, lead of the Scottish National Naloxone Programme and SDF podcast host, takes us through some of the recommendations she has made to the group in regards to Scotland's naloxone provision.

‘Connections during crisis’ with Garth Mullins, Canadian drug user activist

‘Connections during crisis’ with Garth Mullins, Canadian drug user activist

October 14, 2019

In this episode we sit down with Garth Mullins, an award-winning radio documentarian, 'Crackdown' podcast host and drug user activist from Canada.

Garth spoke at our 'Connections During Crisis' conference where he talked about his experience of living with a methadone prescription, the current opioid crisis and the need for drug consumption rooms.

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