The pharmacist and the Steribox


An unusual customer for the pharmacist: the drug user


An unusual customer for the pharmacist: the drug user
The pharmacist regularly encounters people he knows as being drug users: dialogue is not always easy and the commercial relationship can be uncommon.

However, the contact between the pharmacist and the drug user is almost unavoidable. Indeed, the pharmacist is the only healthcare professional who can deliver pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. As a result, the pharmacist plays a key role public health in public health in the context of drug injection
.


At-risk behaviours linked to intravenous injection


Intravenous (IV) injection carries many risks of viral contamination. Indeed, although syringes have become more and more accessible to injecting drug users across the globe, re-distributive and receptive sharing practices have not disappeared. Syringes are often reused and rarely disinfected. The water for injection, the filter, the cooker and rinse water are often shared.

Today, about 5 to 8% of IV drug users in France are infected by HIV, and more than 41% live with the hepatitis C virus . In Canada, these rates reach 5.8% and between 51 and 77% respectively. In Russia, between 0.3 and 74% are infected by HIV while the HCV infects between 49 and 96% of PWID .

The pharmacist can be the first - and sometimes the only - healthcare professional drug users meet. Indeed, they are not always eager to go to other healthcare facilities, but the pharmacy is often the place where they purchase their first syringes. As a result, the pharmacist plays a key role in the prevention of viral infections.


Steribox in pharmacies


Steribox contains information and instructions for use. Therefore, it allows having a prevention action without being obliged to engage in dialogue.
It allows pharmacists to have a public health action while preserving a conventional commercial relationship which is discrete, anonymous and respectful. It can significantly increase the quality of the relationships with clients who inject drugs.



[1] The Global State of Harm Reduction, Toward and integrated response 2012. Harm Reduction International. http://www.ihra.net/files/2012/07/24/GlobalState2012_Web.pdf

[2] The Global State of Harm Reduction, Toward and integrated response 2012. Harm Reduction International. http://www.ihra.net/files/2012/07/24/GlobalState2012_Web.pdf


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