Why do we need supervised consumption services?

The provision of supervised consumption services is one component of the provincial and regional response to the public health emergency declared in April 2016.

Supervised consumption services help reduce the transmission of disease, reduce fatal overdoses, and help connect people to health care services, including treatment. A key feature of both sites is their integration into existing health services and both sites are co-located with expanded substance use treatment in the form of opioid agonist treatment, which is the provision of medications such as Suboxone and methadone.

Supervised consumption services are part of a range of care services for individuals with mental health and addiction issues. In conjunction with naloxone, opioid agonist treatment it is a first-line intervention for people who are at risk for overdose.

Is there any research to support supervised consumption services?

International research on supervised consumption services has demonstrated that these services are beneficial to people who use drugs as well as the surrounding community. Evidence has shown that supervised consumption services:

  • Save lives
  • Reduce sharing of needles that cause HIV and hepatitis C
  • Increase use of detox and addiction treatment services
  • Provide opportunities to connect people to health care services, housing and other supports
  • Reduce public drug use
  • Reduce the numbers of inappropriately discarded needles
  • Do not contribute to increased crime in the surrounding area

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