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Report on Supervised Injection Facilities Released

INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS HIGHLIGHT BENEFITS TO PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY

In the midst of growing debate and public interest in supervised injection facilities, Harm Reduction Coalition has released a meeting summary of a consultation on alternatives to public injecting.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Daniel Raymond, Policy Director, Harm Reduction Coalition 212-377-9121 / raymond@harmreduction.org

“The prescription opioid and heroin crisis has propelled new interest in innovative strategies to reduce overdose deaths,” said Daniel Raymond, Policy Director for the Harm Reduction Coalition. “This report explores the international experience with supervised injection facilities (SIFs) and evidence supporting their role as a bridge to health and recovery.”

Harm Reduction Coalition convened a consultation in 2015 with international law enforcement and public health experts to understand the local dynamics shaping the establishment and implementation of supervised injection facilities in Frankfurt, Germany; Sydney, Australia; and Vancouver, Canada. The attendees identified a number of key lessons relevant to American policymakers:

  1. People who use SIFs take better care of themselves, reduce or eliminate their needle sharing, use their drugs more safely, and ultimately reduce their drug use;
  1. SIF participants gain access to other medical and social services and entry into drug treatment;
  1. There has not been a single overdose death in any of these programs over many years of operation and many thousands supervised of injections;
  1. SIFs do not increase drug use in the area, nor do they encourage young people to initiate drug use;
  1. Crime and public nuisance decrease in the areas around these programs.

“The international experience with SIFs offers valuable insights for communities in the United States considering this strategy,” said Harm Reduction Coalition’s Daniel Raymond. “Despite initial controversies, supervised injection facilities have proven their value over and over again. While overdose rates continue to climb across the nation, we cannot afford to dismiss SIFs as a policy option. Supervised injection facilities provide an important tool to save lives and a new gateway to health care, counseling, and treatment.”

Read the report: Alternatives to Public Injecting.

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