• Australian Needle And Syringe Program (NSP) survey
    A cross-sectional survey conducted annually by the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research over a one week period in October each year since 1995. The survey forms the basis of Australia's HIV and HCV surveillance among IDUs and monitors behavioural indices of risk in addition to prevalence of infection.

  • Best practice
    Integrating the best available evidence with professional expertise to determine the optimal approach or intervention in a given situation with, as appropriate, the service user's informed consent.

  • Blood-Borne Virus (BBV)
    A virus that can be transmitted from an infected person to another person by blood-to-blood contact including through the sharing of injecting equipment.

  • Custodial setting
    Any of the various facilities in which adults and juveniles can be detained or imprisoned including prisons watch houses, juvenile justice centres, remand and other detention facilities.

  • Disposal
    The provision of individual disposal containers of various sizes to IDUs and bulk disposal facilities for returned containers provided within NSP outlets or often at health facilities. Disposal can be available during operating hours or through secure bin enclosures with 24-hour access. Legislative differences across jurisdictions concerning the definition and disposal of clinical waste can impact on disposal policy and practices.

  • Drug
    A substance that produces psychoactive or physiological effects on the person who consumes the drug. Drugs that can be injected include: heroin; amphetamines; cocaine; prescription opioids; benzodiazepines; and performance and image-enhancing drugs (steroids).

  • Drug-related harm
    Any adverse social, physical, psychological, legal or other consequence of drug use that is experienced by a person using drugs or by people living with or otherwise affected by the actions of a person using drugs.

  • Drug user organisations
    Peer based organisations representing the needs and interests of people who use drugs illicitly.

  • Equipment provision
    The provision of injecting equipment to IDUs including any equipment required to inject drugs; condoms; and water-based lubricant. This provision is guided by differing legislation and policy across jurisdictions.

  • Harm minimisation
    One of the features of the National drug strategy is harm minimisation. It aims to improve health, social and economic outcomes for both the community and the individual and encompasses a wide range of approaches in dealing with drug related harm, including supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction strategies. A comprehensive harm minimisation approach must account for the interaction of the individual, the community, and the drug.

    The National drug strategy focuses on both licit and illicit drugs.

    Harm minimisation includes preventing anticipated harm and reducing actual harm.

  • Harm reduction strategies
    Strategies designed to reduce the impacts of drug-related harm on individuals and communities. Harm reduction does not condone illegal risk behaviours such as injecting drug use, rather, it acknowledges that these behaviours occur and therefore, there is a responsibility to develop and implement public health and law-enforcement measures designed to reduce the harm that such behaviours can cause.

  • Health promotion
    Australia's approach to health promotion is based on the 1986 Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion (WHO 1986). The Ottawa Charter defines health promotion as the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health. It includes equity in disease prevention, education, social mobilisation and advocacy to provide appropriate and accurate information to enable individuals to make healthy choices.

  • Hepatitis
    Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses, alcohol, drugs and other toxins or, less commonly, by a breakdown in a person's immune system. There are five viruses that specifically cause hepatitis, labelled: hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Each may produce similar symptoms with the main difference between them being the mode of transmission and the effects on a person's health. Hepatitis viruses that develop into a chronic infection may, over time, cause fibrosis (liver cells are damaged and destroyed and scar tissue takes their place).

  • Hepatitis B
    A viral infection caused by the HBV, which can cause damage to the liver and may be transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and unprotected sexual contact.

  • Hepatitis C
    A viral infection caused by the HCV which belongs to the flavivirus family of ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses. Discovered in 1988 HCV is spread through blood-to-blood contact. The slow progression of the disease means that people are often unaware of being infected until symptoms present many years later.

  • Human Immuno-Deficiency virus (HIV) / Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
    HIV is a human retrovirus that leads to AIDS. AIDS is a syndrome defined by the development of serious opportunistic infections, neoplasms or other life threatening manifestations resulting from progressive HIV-induced immuno-suppression.

    Infection with HIV occurs when the virus present in the bodily fluids of an infected person is transmitted to another person by blood-to-blood contact. Bodily fluids include blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate or breast milk. The major routes of transmission are unprotected anal or vaginal sex, sharing needles and syringes when injecting drugs, and from mother to baby during pregnancy, at birth or through breast-feeding.

  • Illicit drug
    A drug whose production, sale, possession or use is prohibited by law.

  • Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS)
    The IDRS monitors the price, purity, availability and patterns of use of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis in markets in Australia. The IDRS involves the collection and analysis of three sources of data: interviews with regular IDUs, semi-structured interviews with experts working with drug users, such as treatment, law enforcement and NSP workers; and existing databases on drug-related issues, such as customs, overdose and seizure data, as well as National Household Surveys of Drug Use. The national IDRS has been conducted annually since 2000.

  • Incidence
    The number of new cases of a disease in a defined population within a defined period.

  • Information/education
    The provision of information and education to IDUs in written, verbal and pictorial forms in a range of languages on a range of topics. Delivery may be passive, with service users having access to visual displays or literature, or active, through engagement by a worker in a brief intervention or in response to an individual service user request. It can also include information provided to the broader community about the purpose and practices of the Program.

  • Injecting drug use
    The administration of licit or s to the body via a needle and syringe including intra-muscular, subcutaneous or intravenous injection.

  • Injecting-Related Injury And Disease (IRID)
    A range of vascular, soft tissue and other injuries and infections, including blood-borne viral infection and overdose, experienced by people who inject drugs. Arising from exposure to bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic pathogens IRID includes: prominent scarring or bruising; vein collapse; swelling of hands or feet; cellulitis; abscesses or skin infections; fungal eye infection; thrombosis; septicaemia; septic arthritis; amputation and endocarditis. Risk factors for IRID include the re-use of injecting equipment and inadequate filtering.

  • National Drug Strategy
    An endorsed policy supported by Australian Government and the State and Territory Governments. The National Drug Strategy promotes partnerships between health, lawenforcement and education agencies, drug users, people affected by drug-related harm, community-based organisations and industry to reduce drug-related harm in Australia. The partnerships approach is the basis of the three key principles of the Australian harm minimisation framework composed of:
    • Demand reduction
    • Supply reduction
    • Harm reduction.

  • National Drug Strategy household survey
    One of the data-collections used to monitor trends and progress under the National Drug Strategy. Conducted by the AIHW , on behalf of DoHA, the survey has been conducted nationally in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007. This survey provides data on behaviour, knowledge and attitudes relating to drug use among people aged 14 years and over.

  • Needle and Syringe Program (NSP)
    A public health harm reduction initiative formally established in Australia in 1987 within the harm minimisation framework of the National drug strategy to prevent the transmission of HIV among IDUs and subsequently, to the broader community. NSP services are provided through a range of models and modalities including fixed site, outreach, and syringe vending machines.

  • Needle and Syringe Program workforce
    Any staff member of a primary, secondary or pharmacy NSP outlet.

  • Outreach
    An outreach service is delivered by workers outside fixed-site service locations. It may be delivered via a vehicle or on foot and may attend at set locations at scheduled times, or respond to requests to attend at locations identified by service users or seek out those in need of support.

  • Overdose
    The use of a drug, or combination of drugs, in an amount resulting in acute adverse physical or mental effects. Overdose may produce transient or lasting effects and can sometimes be fatal.

  • Peer education
    Members providing education and information to other members of the same group in both formal and informal ways. This model of education is based on social learning and health behaviour theories and is designed to impart information, skills and knowledge to others (peers). Peer education also recognises the influence that peer pressure and the behaviours of a peer group have on the decisions an individual makes.

  • Pharmacy NSP
    Community pharmacy NSPs provide services which range from the provision of injecting equipment sold as retail items to pharmacy based incentive schemes implemented in conjunction with state and territory health departments. Harm reduction efforts are varied with some pharmacies providing equipment and disposal facilities, referral services and established contact with health professionals while others provide injecting equipment only.

  • Population group
    Refers to a group of people defined by geographical location, gender, age, risk factor, culture, possession of a common condition characteristic or disease.

  • Prevention
    Within the context of the National drug strategy, prevention refers to measures that prevent or delay the onset of drug use as well as measures that protect against risk and prevent and reduce the harms associated with drug supply and use.

  • Primary health care
    The provision of health care and allied health services in the community. Primary health care aims to reduce the likelihood of serious illness and reduce the need for hospital and specialist medical services. Primary health care management includes prevention, early intervention and ongoing management of health care issues.

  • Primary NSP
    An outlet specifically funded to employ staff to deliver NSP services including education, referral and support as well as injecting equipment. Primary NSP outlets typically operate in areas with high levels of injecting drug use. They may be co-located with other health services, operate as stand-alone facilities, or deliver services through outreach.

  • Referral
    The referral of an individual to another health or welfare service. Referral may occur through providing information in writing or verbally about the other service or through a staff member initiating contact with the other service on the service user's behalf. Referral to other NSPs, such as primary sites, is included in this definition.

  • Secondary NSP
    An outlet located within an agency that is not specifically funded to employ staff to deliver NSP services. NSP provision may be only one among a range of health care services provided by the agency. Secondary NSP staff deliver NSP services alongside other duties, such as reception, nursing or counselling.

  • Sexually Transmissible Infection (STI)
    An infection – such as HIV, gonorrhoea, syphilis or chlamydia – that can be transmitted through sexual contact.

  • Steroids
    A group of naturally occurring or synthetic hormones that may affect chemical processes in the body, rate of growth, and other physiological functions. Steroids are mainly injected to enhance muscle growth and development.

  • Surveillance
    Continuing scrutiny of all aspects of occurrence and spread of a disease. The main purpose is to detect changes in trends or distribution in order to initiate investigative or health control measures.

  • Syringe Vending Machine (SVM)
    A machine that dispenses needles, syringes and other injecting equipment usually in exchange for a fee. Also known as Needle Dispensing Machines (NDMs).