Director of the Centre for Public Health and Reader in Substance Use Epidemiology
areas of expertise
Jim McVeigh was appointed as the Director of the Centre for Public Health 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 the Centre for Public Health 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 2014/15
This is the second annual report for the Integrated Monitoring System (IMS) which details activity across Merseyside and Cheshire over the period of the 2014-15 financial year. The data is cross-matched with figures from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) and the Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) to provide a report inclusive of every individual in contact with any drug or alcohol treatment/low threshold or syringe-exchange service in each of the nine Local Authority areas in Cheshire and Merseyside.
DIP Merseyside Demographics Report 2013/14 (April 2013 – March 2014)
The main objective of the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) is to identify and engage with drug using offenders in the criminal justice system (CJS) in order to channel them into appropriate treatment services. In line with research evidence it assumes that if this treatment is effective it will result in reduced drug use and therefore reduced levels of offending. This report aims to provide the Merseyside DIP teams and commissioners with summary information regarding the characteristics of the clients who were assessed between April 2011 and March 2014.
HIV and AIDS in Liverpool 2014
This report presents information on HIV treatment and care of Liverpool residents living with HIV. The year 2014 saw a total of 537 HIV positive Liverpool residents accessing treatment and care from statutory treatment centres in Liverpool, Greater Manchester and Cumbria and Lancashire. There were 77 new cases reported in 2014 a 20% increase from 2013 (64 new cases).
Jim McVeigh's Papers
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.
BMJ-British Medical Journal, 2016.
We welcome the news item on the role of harm reduction in the ‘fight’ against HIV1 and we broadly agree with the findings of the report The Case for a Harm Reduction Decade: Progress, Potential and Paradigm Shifts.2 Clearly harm reduction for people who inject drugs (PWID) is having a positive impact on HIV in places such as the Ukraine, Nepal and parts of China and Kenya. This is supported by evidence of the long term impact of harm reduction approaches in controlling HIV among PWID in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia. The increased benefits of even a modest proportional shift in resource from the so called ‘War on Drugs’ to evidence based harm reduction policies is a compelling argument. However, in addition to addressing the needs of established drug injecting populations such as heroin and stimulant injectors, we must also get ahead of the curve in relation to emerging patterns of injecting drug use to reduce the number of new cases of HIV. The injection of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) has been largely overlooked in relation to blood borne virus risks. IPEDs are a collective term for anabolic steroids, growth hormones, other drugs to increase musculature and associated ancillary drugs, together with peptide hormones such as melanotan II (a synthetic melanocortin analogue) and other drugs that are used for enhancement purposes. A recent meta-analysis and meta-regression of 187 studies on anabolic steroid use indicated a global lifetime prevalence of 3.3%.3 IPED users are growing as a client group in many countries with long standing provision of needle and syringe programmes, such as Australia4 and the United Kingdom where many services now report that over half of their clients inject IPEDs.5 Furthermore, in the United Kingdom there is conclusive evidence of HIV being present within this group of PWID, with an HIV prevalence of 1.5%6 amongst men injecting IPEDs, a level that is comparable to that among those injecting opioids and/or stimulants in the UK. Finally, there is evidence that people using IPED are a very sexually active population with low rates of condom use suggesting a risk of HIV transmission through their sexual networks.6 The use of IPEDs and in particular the injection of anabolic steroids by men, must be viewed as a serious public health concern requiring the attention of policy makers. Addressing the needs of emerging and often hidden populations of PWID should be part of the focus for harm reduction interventions. 1 BMJ 2016;352:i1479 2 Harm Reduction International. The case for a harm reduction decade: progress, potential and paradigm shifts. 2016. www.ihra.net/harm-reduction-decade 3 Sagoe D, Molde H, Andreassen CS, et al. The global epidemiology of anabolic-androgenic steroid use: a meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis. Ann Epidemiol 2014;24:383-98. 4 Iversen J, Topp L, Wand H, et al. Are people who inject performance and image-enhancing drugs an increasing population of Needle and Syringe Program attendees? Drug Alcohol Rev. 2013;32:205-7. 5 Kimergård A, McVeigh J. Variability and dilemmas in harm reduction for anabolic steroid users in the UK: a multi-area interview study. Harm Reduct J 2014;11:19. 6 Hope VD, McVeigh J, Marongiu A, et al. Prevalence of, and risk factors for, HIV, hepatitis B and C infections among men who inject image and performance enhancing drugs: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2013;3:e003207.