The SSA has awarded the 2020 Impact Prize to Dr Magdalena Harris. The independent review panel commented on her ‘practical research to improve the lives of some of the most marginalised service users’.

Dr Harris currently has an NIHR Career Development Fellowship Award (2017–2020) for the Care and Prevent Study. She has been investigating injecting-related harms in 455 people who inject drugs, and carrying out in-depth qualitative interviews in a sub-sample of this group (36 participants) to understand the risk for skin and soft tissue infection, in order to inform community-acceptable interventions.

The independent review panel for the Impact Prize were very impressed by Dr Harris’ application and commented on three specific findings from her work:

  1. overuse of acidifier in injection preparation and associated health harms
  2. unsafe use of water in injection preparation due to limited supplies of water for injection
  3. delayed prescribing of opioid substitution treatment in hospital settings as a barrier to care access

Dr Harris has used practical research to improve the lives of some of the most marginalised addiction treatment service users, and has involved people who use drugs in her research to better understand how to improve quality of life and health outcomes.

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