The County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service has launched an initiative to increase awareness of Blood Borne Viruses (BBV) across the county.


Three days of promotional activity have been delivered across the community by Humankind and Spectrum healthcare – partners in the County Durham project, with the aim of increasing public awareness of BBV’s and the availability of instant testing at County Durham Hubs.


Judith Durkin, Acting Head of Service at the County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service said: “Thanks to all the staff for supporting this very important initiative which will make a real difference to the health and welfare of our clients across the county.”


During the recent testing, none of the 44 HIV instant tests given to clients of the service came out positive. Of the 77 Hepatitis C tests, there were eight positive results. All eight of these clients accepted referral to the Freeman Hospital for further help and support.


Alongside the offer of a Hepatitis C test, clients of the service were provided with general health advice and harm minimisation information. They were also provided with fruit and health drinks whilst they waited for the results of their tests.


The service also launched 90 minute training sessions for staff on the use of Naloxone. Naloxone is a non-addictive, life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when given in time.


All staff that attending are now trained in the use of Naloxone and are able to administer the drug as well as being able to provide Naloxone to clients and carers, so they can administer Naloxone in an overdose situation and have a take home supply. 40 Naloxone kits were handed out to the local community during the training.


A similar event is being planned for Seaham in January, if you would like to know more, please telephone 03000 266 666.