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Humankind presents new ‘spice’ treatment path to international audience

The unique community-based approach in Leeds to the growing problem of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (spice)

The Medical Director of Humankind said her team was proud to present the Leeds approach to the problem of ‘spice’ on UK streets at a conference in the Netherlands.

Dr Vaziri said: “It’s early days, but we are already seeing successes in Leeds with the new treatment path. We were proud to share our insights with colleagues from around the world”.

The team, which included Operations Director for Leeds Lee Wilson and Forward Leeds Clinical Director Dr Mark Hallam, presented the unique community-based approach in Leeds to the growing problem of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (spice), at the sixth International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

The conference, in Maastricht, aimed to share knowledge and strengthen collaboration on NPS and was attended by delegates from all over the world.

Two key projects were presented by Humankind.

The Leeds approach to NPS: A novel and evolving response to a novel and evolving problem’, covered how the service in Leeds has developed a flexible and rapid response treatment pathway. The programme uses available service resources and psycho-social treatment interventions to offer a reduction and detoxification programme. This new treatment can avoid the need for admission to inpatient beds or a residential detox.

A review of early findings of the newly created reduction and detoxification pathway with innovative use of medication, ‘Climbing K2 with no guide ropes NPS withdrawal and detoxification’, was also presented.

Dr Vaziri addressed the delegates as part of the conference closing panel. She said her team had gained insights by speaking to those using or who have used NPS. And she raised the importance of collaboration to clearly identify the substances being reported as NPS.

Dr Vaziri also spoke about the need to work together to create and build new interventions and clinical pathways for diagnosis and detoxification.

She asked the audience to act as critical friends to each other, evaluating those interventions in all areas including as clinical pathways and in relation to policy and law enforcement.

Her colleague, Dr Hallam said: "It was fantastic to share and further develop our learning in an international forum, as well as to network with distinguished practitioners and researchers from around the globe. The next challenge will be to present the new learning to our colleagues at home and use the knowledge to take our practice to the next level."

Finally the ability for Humankind to support the voice of those with lived experience to be present for the first at this 6th International conference was a key moment with two powerful stories and experiences shared with the international audience.

Download a PDF version of ‘The Leeds approach to NPS: A novel and evolving response to a novel and evolving problem’