Director of Public Health Institute and Reader in Substance Use Epidemiology
areas of expertise
Jim McVeigh was appointed as the Director of Public Health Institute in November 2015. Jim has worked within health/public health for nearly 30 years, with an academic career starting in the University of Liverpool before moving to Liverpool John Moores University as a Research Assistant in 1999. Subsequently he has held various positions within Public Health Institute including Senior Lecturer, Reader, Deputy Director and most recently, Acting Director. He has gained significant management skills and leadership experience, while developing extensive links with external organisations and stakeholders at local, national and international level. Jim has an international reputation within his academic specialism of human enhancement drug use and has co-authored more than 100 research reports, 50 peer reviewed papers and been invited to deliver keynote presentations and plenary papers at some of the most influential national and international conferences
In addition to the reports and papers listed on this site Jim has also co-authored the following:
Sumnall H, McVeigh J & Evans-Brown M. Chapter 4 – Epidemiology of Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances, In: Dargan PI & Wood DM, Editor(s), Novel Psychoactive Substances, Academic Press, Boston, 2013, Pages 79-103
Evans-Brown M, McVeigh J, (2009) Anabolic steroid use in the general population of the United Kingdom.- In Elite Sport, Doping and Public Health. Edited by Møller V, Dimeo P, McNamee M. Odense: University of Southern Denmark Press :75-97
Jim McVeigh's Publications
Integrated Monitoring System Annual Report – Cheshire and Merseyside 2015/16
This is the third annual report for the Integrated Monitoring System (IMS) which details activity across Merseyside and Cheshire over the period of the 2015-16 financial year. The report provides information on presentations to needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) and other low threshold interventions delivered to individuals using drugs and/or alcohol, focussing on areas such as wellbeing, demographics and substances used. The report also provides an overview of published and future research in the field at both a local and national level.
A rapid evidence assessment of the published evidence on drug treatment and recovery outcomes and international comparators: Full evidence report
In March 2015, Public Health England (PHE) were asked by the Department of Health to “review the evidence on: what can be expected of the drug treatment and recovery system and provide advice to inform future policy”. This rapid review of drug treatment and recovery outcomes was commissioned by PHE to support this process. The rapid review adopted a review of reviews approach to examine the effectiveness of interventions and services delivered within the framework of structured drug treatment.
Merseyside Annual DIP Report: DIP Activity (April 2014 – March 2015)
This report complements the existing monthly performance reports by providing an annual snapshot of the criminal justice data provided by the treatment agencies for the Drug Interventions Programme across Merseyside. It aims to provide the Merseyside Criminal Justice teams and commissioners with summary information regarding the characteristics of the clients accessing treatment between April 2014 and March 2015, detailing the route of entry to DIP, the demographic information captured during the assessment process, as well as information around assessment outcomes. This information should be used to assist stakeholders in targeting resources more effectively, particularly in the current climate of diminishing funding and increasing levels of client engagement.
Jim McVeigh's Papers
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, Pages 1-8, 2016.
Abstract: Aim: The aim of the paper was to identify changes in the extent and patterns of anabolic steroid use in the United Kingdom to better understand the public health implications within the context of the current health-related evidence base. Methods: Using the two time points between 1995 (prior to legislation changes in the United Kingdom) and 2015, a review of the evidence related to health harms was conducted, in conjunction with needle and syringe programme (NSP) data in Cheshire & Merseyside (UK) relating to anabolic steroid users. Findings: Dramatic increase in the number of anabolic steroid users accessing NSPs, 553 in 1995 to 2446 in 2015, now accounting for 54.9% of clients. With the inclusion of pharmacy NSPs, this rose to 5336 individual anabolic steroid users. Conclusions: Key changes in our knowledge during the 20 years, in particular, in relation to HIV prevalence, changes in the market and patterns of use make anabolic steroid use a public health concern. In the context of increasing numbers of injectors, there is a need for comprehensive interventions.
A scoping review of home-produced heroin and amphetamine-type stimulant substitutes: implications for prevention, treatment, and policy
Harm Reduction Journal 13:14, 2016.
Abstract: Several home-produced substances such as krokodil and boltushka are prevalent in many Eastern European countries. Anecdotal reports of its use have been circulating in Germany and Norway; however, this has not been confirmed. Its use has also been reported by the media in the USA, although only one confirmed report of its use exists. Home-produced drugs are associated with high levels of morbidity and a number of complex health issues such as the spread of blood borne viruses, gangrene, and internal organ damage. The high incidence of HIV rates amongst people who inject home-produced substances is a public health concern. The resulting physical health consequences of injecting these crude substances are very severe in comparison to heroin or amphetamine acquired in black markets. Due to this fact and the increased mortality associated with these substances, professionals in the area of prevention, treatment, and policy development need to be cognisant of the presentation, harms, and the dangers associated with home-produced substances globally. This scoping review aimed to examine existing literature on the subject of home-produced heroin and amphetamine-type stimulant substitutes. The review discussed the many implications such research may have in the areas of policy and practice. Data were gathered through the use of qualitative secondary resources such as journal articles, reports, reviews, case studies, and media reports. The home production of these substances relies on the utilisation of precursor drugs such as less potent stimulants, tranquillizers, analgesics, and sedatives or natural plant ingredients. The Internet underpins the facilitation of this practice as recipes, and diverted pharmaceutical sales are available widely online, and currently, ease of access to the Internet is evident worldwide. This review highlights the necessity of prevention, education, and also harm reduction related to home-produced drugs and also recommends consistent monitoring of online drug fora, online drug marketplaces, and unregulated pharmacies.
2,4-Dinitrophenol, the inferno drug: a netnographic study of user experiences in the quest for leanness
Journal of Substance Use, 2016.
Abstract: Background: Despite not being licensed for human consumption, the internet has triggered renewed, widespread interest and availability of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP). DNP, a cellular metabolic poison causes thermogenesis resulting in fat burning and weight loss. Whilst extensively available for purchase online, research on user experiences of DNP is limited. Methods: A netnographic approach was used to describe user experiences of DNP via online public websites. Public websites discussing DNP were identified and a purposeful sample selected. Discussion threads were downloaded and a textual qualitative analysis conducted. Four themes containing 71 categories were generated. Results: There exists a plethora of communal folk pharmacological advice and recommendations for DNP manufacture and use, together with associated harms and outcomes. The efficacy and untoward effects of DNP were described and discussed alongside the notion that DNP should only be used by experienced bodybuilders. Dosage and regimes for optimal use were also described. Conclusion: This unique study provides a rich examination of the knowledge, attitudes and motivations of DNP users, illustrating the significant role of online public websites in sharing information. Further understanding of DNP users and the online communities in which they reside is warranted to facilitate engagement and formulate appropriate and effective policy responses.