Evaluation of the pilot provision of single use plastic water ampoules to people who inject drugs in Glasgow


Sep 2012 by John Campbell
Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GG&C) has an estimated injecting population of 8862. There are 74 Injecting Equipment Provision (IEP) outlets across the area to meet the paraphernalia needs of this population. Since 2009 GG&C has provided a comprehensive package of paraphernalia, including needle choice, spoons, filters, citric acid and swabs. However, until the start of this pilot, water for injecting (WFI) was not available from any of the 62 pharmacy outlets. In fact prior to the pilot only 3 outlets provided WFI and this was in a glass ampoule form. Water which is shared amongst injectors may pose a risk of transmitting blood-borne viruses. In addition to blood-borne virus risks, unsterile sources of water often carry bacteria that can cause serious infections when injected. The annual Shooting Up Report suggests that bacterial infections remain very common amongst intravenous drug injectors. WFI is a specially prepared, cleaned and purified form of water which contains no chemicals or bacteria. In this study, between July and August 2012 the new plastic ampoules of WFI were piloted in Glasgow’s 3 city centre IEP outlets. Overall the study aimed to assess the acceptability and uptake of single use WFI ampoules to people who inject drugs.