How do these services work?
People arrive with their own drugs. They are given equipment and education on safe drug use practices. When the person uses their drug, trained staff supervise them and will act if a medical emergency takes place. Once the drugs have been used, the individual is brought to a waiting room to be observed for any medical emergencies or overdoses. Information about other health services, social supports in the community, and referrals are also available.
What is the purpose of supervised consumption services?
Supervised consumption services respect an individual’s choices and support equal health and health access for all. There has been a lot of research done on the benefits these services offer for communities and people who use substances. The four main goals of these services are to:
- save lives by reducing the number of deaths and drug overdoses
- reduce the spread of infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C, amongst people who inject drugs
- provide primary health care services, addictions treatment, and social services to people who use drugs create a safer community by reducing substance misuse in public spaces
How have supervised consumption services helped other communities?
In other communities, these services have been shown to:
- reduce opioid overdoses and hospital visits
- reduce opioid overdose deaths
- reduce infectious disease such as HIV, hepatitis C
- increase access to basic health care services such as wound care
- reduce public consumption of illegal drugs
- reduce publicly discarded syringes
- decrease unsafe injection practices (e.g. syringe sharing)
- increase access and referrals to health and social services (including detoxification & substance treatment)
- improve the health of people who use drugs
- be cost-effective solutions for health systems
These services have NOT been shown to:
- shift drug use to different neighbourhoods
- increase rates of intravenous (IV) drug use
- increase drug-related crimes
Are there supervised consumption services in other communities?
Yes, there are supervised consumption services worldwide including Canada. For a list of the current sites learn more at Health Canada.
Would supervised consumption services increase substance use?
No, there is no evidence that these services promote drug use or lead to an increase in first-time drug use. People do not start using drugs because these services are offered. These services are mostly used by people with a long history of drug use.
Where would these services be located?
The participants in the study (i.e., persons who used drugs, partners and key stakeholders, and the general community) shared that the location should be centralized, in close proximity to and integrated with other health, social and harm reduction services
Further consultation will be required to confirm the exact location.
Would these services bring more crime to communities?
Supervised consumption services do not contribute to more crime. There is considerable research on this subject. For example, in the neighbourhood around InSite in Vancouver, there has been no increase in crime.
How can I share my feedback?
Share your thoughts by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org