JPAC Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

Addiction and Drug Abuse


Alcohol, body building drugs and injected non-prescribed drugs.


Must not donate if:

a) Has ever injected, or has been injected with, drugs; even a long time ago or only once. This includes bodybuilding drugs, injected tanning agents and injected chemsex drugs.

b) Adversely affected by any drug, including alcohol, which may affect the process of obtaining valid consent.

c) Less than seven days from taking disulfiram (Antabuse®).


a) If any injected drugs were prescribed for the donor by a registered health care professional for a condition that would not lead to exclusion, accept.

b) If the donor is taking medication to support their abstinence from alcohol or other non-injected drugs and 
•    they are not adversely affected by drugs, including alcohol, and
•    they understand and consent to the donation process and testing of their blood,

See if Relevant

Blood Safety Entry

For alcohol related problems:
Liver Disease

Additional Information

Injecting drug users represent one of the groups of individuals within whom emerging infections have spread before they have been recognized. This was the case with HIV and HCV infection. Because of this, the BSQR requires that they are permanently excluded from becoming donors. It can be many years before any infection shows itself. Former drug users often do not realize that they can pass infection on to others many years after they last used drugs themselves.

Previous use of non-injected drugs does not necessarily require exclusion.

Anyone obviously affected by alcohol, or other drugs that can affect the mind, cannot give valid consent or fully understand why they are being asked certain questions. They can be a danger to themselves and to others. If the donor is deferred, this may be until the next session, or permanently, if the donor's use of alcohol and/or drugs is likely to continue.

Disulfiram (Antabuse®) may cause severe reactions in a recipient whose blood contains alcohol.

Other medications such as Acamprosate (Campral®) or Naltrexone may be prescribed to support abstinence from alcohol or drug use. If the donor is well and their alcohol or drug use has not caused any end-organ damage, then they can be accepted to donate.


Part of this entry is a requirement of the Blood Safety and Quality Regulations 2005.

Reason for change

This entry has been revised to include guidance on the acceptance of donors who are prescribed medication to support their abstinence from alcohol. Other revisions to clarify the text.

Donor Information

If you wish to obtain more information regarding a personal medical issue please contact your National Help Line.

Please do not contact this web site for personal medical queries, as we are not in a position to provide individual answers.

Update Information

This entry was last updated in:
DSG-WB Edition 203, Release 65