Joe has over 20 years’ experience working in Public Health practice and research including blood-borne viruses, sexual health, and problem drug use. In 2017 he joined the University of Stirling where he works as a Research Fellow at the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research. Joe is principal investigator on a national research project to explore the utility and safety of benzodiazepine prescribing among people receiving opiate substitution therapy in Scotland and co-investigator on several projects seeking to understand and address drug-related morbidity and mortality.
Clinical management of problematic BZD use in Addictions: the views of clinicians and people who use drugs; prescribing practices and patient outcomes
Benzodiazepine and benzodiazepine-type drug (BZD) use is a significant health problem in Scotland and is increasingly associated with drug-related mortality. There is an urgent need to address problematic BZD use, however the limited evidence base and lack of consensus on best practice result in few treatment options and inconsistencies in practice.
National research on the views and practices of addiction prescribers and people who use street BZDs in Scotland will be presented to describe current approaches to the management of BZD dependence among people who use drugs and suggest directions to improve the care of this vulnerable group.
A multisite project to codesign and test a new intervention to address street BZD use and reduce harms among people who use drugs, currently underway, will be described.
Initial results will be presented from an ongoing national data linkage study that aims to describe patterns of BZD prescribing for people receiving opiate substitution therapy and quantify patient outcomes including hospitalisation, all-cause, and drug-related mortality.