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Diversion of drugs

The diversion of prescribed drugs poses risks to the health and well being of drug users. This also creates challenges for those prescribing drugs. Diversion is a serious issue but everyone has a role to play in reducing diversion and ensuring that people who need access to drugs to treat addiction can access them in a safe and supported environment.

The Diversion Excursion, the sharing, the caring and the daring

(confefrence 13th July 2012) 

Diversion and misuse are relatively common behaviours in drug  use. Healthcare professionals should try to prevent and reduce diversion. By working to reduce diversion treatment providers protect the Patients, Doctors, otehr healthcare professionals and treatment programmes. By ignoring diversion and the risks of misure the reputation of treatment is damaged, the indivuals expereinces harm(s) and there is a risk for healthcare professionals. The harm to the individual of diversion include:  

  • Fungal endophalmitis (commonly caused by indiviuals injecting substance that have been in the mouth) 
  • Pulmonary granulomatosis 
  • Abscess, hand ischemia (intra-arterial injection) 
  • Dealth when combined with CNS depressants 
  • Liver damage 
  • Pancreatitis 

For more information about injecting injuries go here

Practice to reduce diversion 

Reducing diversion will save lives and ensure that the right people are using the right medication. Everyone working in drug treatment and recovery has a role to play.  The hi team are working with professionals on the ground to develop resources to support you to tackle diversion in your area.  Following on from working groups the team will post up-dates and resources here. 

  • Therpaeutic relationship with the individual 
  • Have clear goals and expectations 
  • Individualise treatment to meet the needs of the person 
  • Monitor the outcomes with the individual 
  • Modify treamtment if diversion of misue occur



Download the commissioner guide from the support documents section on this page. 

Patient agreement PDF 

The hi team have developed a Patient agreement for you to adapt to meet your needs. The document provided here is simply an example of an agreement to sign with patients to ensure that diversion and its risks are discussed during assessments and before any medication is prescribed. Please feel free to download this document and use it as you wish. It would be very helpful if you sent your expmples to 

SMMGP: Crushing Buprenorphine

NTA Numbers in treatment in Egland

NTAResources & Publications



Roweena Russell, E: , T: 079 57 57 6305
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