People who inject drugs can ‘give bacteria the boot’ with new SDF booklet

SDF have published a new resource to highlight good hygiene practices for people who inject drugs in order to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The booklet, created in partnership with NHS Lothian and in conjunction with SDF Peer Research Volunteers, was initially designed in response to an outbreak of infections related to the bacteria Group A Streptococcus (GAS) among people who inject drugs.

During the outbreak it was discovered that some people were hesitant to have wounds and sores checked, heightening the risk of infection. The brief resource therefore seeks to inform people who may be at risk of acquiring an infection to be aware of good hygiene practices in order to prevent any issues occurring, and if they do occur, what action to take.

Sophie Given, SDF’s National Training and Development Officer for Harm Reduction and Emergency Responses, said:

“Although this resource was designed specifically during an outbreak of Group A Streptococcus, the information and lessons are key to the prevention of any bacterial or viral infection.”

“At this moment with the spread of COVID-19, it is now more important than ever for people who inject drugs to be informed about good personal and environment hygiene practices.

“It is anticipated there will be an unprecedented demand on health services, therefore it is important that people who inject drugs have an awareness of how to prevent bacterial infections and have a basic knowledge of how to monitor wounds.”

You can download a digital PDF version of the booklet by clicking here

If you would like physical copies of the booklet for people who use services, please contact Sophie Given at