Injecting young people a ‘blind spot’

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Injecting drug use among under-18s remains a global data ‘blind spot’, according to a report from Harm Reduction International (HRI).

Young people who inject drugs are ill-informed about the risks, less likely to access treatment and have ‘specific develop­mental, social and environmental vulnerabilities’, says Injecting drug use among under-18s: a snapshot of available data.

There is no global population size estimate for the number of under-18s who inject, says the document, while the legal status of being a minor also raises challenges in terms of developing targeted harm reduction interventions. ‘Too often younger drug users are “hidden in plain sight” – we know they are there but do not know enough about their needs and risks,’ says Greg Ramm of Save the Children in the report’s foreword. ‘This cannot continue.’

Injecting drug use among under-18s: a snapshot of available data at  www.ihra.net