One Year of the Drug Consumption Room (DCR) in the City of Lisbon: Preliminary Results of HCV Positive Drug Users and Policy Implications

Author: Roberta Reis Hugo Faria Filipa Barata Linda Gonçalves Claudia Pereira Diogo Morais Paulo Caldeira Inês Pereira Rodrigo Coutinho Rodrigo

Theme: Models of Care Year: 2022

Background: Intense drug trafficking activities and public drug use occur in some Lisbon
(Portugal) areas, leading to diverse negative consequences. The Drug Consumption Room
(DCR) is placed in a problematic area in which public drug use and deficient personal care
hinder public health. It aims to promote health education and safer drug use, NSP, as well as
other relevant outcomes. This work describes the preliminary results of the DCR.
Methods: The total sample comprised adult individuals, that routinely attended the service
between December 2021 and February 2022. Data reported here was collected from medical
charts and DCR’s routine records, as well as other Ares do Pinhal clinical records.
Results: From the 144 individuals who attended the service -positive for Ab-HCV- 128 (89%)
were males and 16 (11%) were females. Concerning age, 84 (58%) were between 45-54 years,
30 (21%) between 55-64, 25 (17%) between 35-44, 4 (2.8%) between 25-34, and 1(0.7%) was
above 65. Most were Portuguese (N = 142, 98.6%), 1 was Brazilian, and 1 from Angola. The
majority used smoked drugs (64.6%), while 35.4% used intravenous drugs. As for the number
of times users attended the service in the last three months, 85 (59%) were there less than 20
times, 14 (9.7%) people used it from 21-60 times, 10 (7%) from 61-100 times, 17 (12%) people
used it between 101-140 times and 4 (2.8%) used it between 141 to 184 times.
Conclusion: The number of users exceeded the expectations of the project. Smoked
consumption was more prevalent than expected. Nevertheless, the 3-month preliminary
follow-up showed a steady increase in injected consumption, which is expected to continue.
Results highlight the importance of the DCR and its significant contribution to public health,
but a continued effort should be pursued to ensure proper screening of all users.
Disclosure of Interest Statement:
The authors have no conflicts to declare.

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