Supervised Injection Facilities

Supervised injection rooms are legally sanctioned facilities where people who use intravenous drugs can inject pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision.  Supervised injection facilities are designed to reduce the health and societal problems associated with injection drug use.  These facilities now operate in dozens of cities abroad and in Canada and have been shown to reduce injection-related risks and harms like vein damage, overdose, and transmission of diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.  No such facilities currently exist in the United States, but the Drug Policy Alliance is advocating for supervised injection pilot programs in San Francisco and New York City.  We are working to expand the national dialogue on drug control to include policies and programs that mitigate the harms of drug use without mandating abstinence.
 

Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition is an independent civil society network of organizations and individuals working to improve Canada's drug policies. CDPC envisions a safe, healthy and just Canada in which drug policy and legislation as well as related institutional practice are based on evidence, human rights, social inclusion and public health.

Canada's Supreme Court Rules Safe Injection Facility Can Stay

Site Has Reduced HIV Infections and Overdose Deaths and Improved Public Safety

Advocates: "This is a Victory for Public Heath, Science and Compassion" and "Time for US to Implement Similar Policies"

Laura Thomas 415-283-6366 or Tommy McDonald 510-229-5215

Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

June 2, 2011
Global Commission on Drug Policy

The Global Commission, whose members include Kofi Annan and four former presidents, calls the drug war a failure and advocates a paradigm shift in global drug policy. The commission's bold recommendations include encouraging governments to experiment with legalization of drugs, particularly marijuana; putting an end to drug policies being driven by ideology and politics; and directing resources away from arresting and incarcerating so many people for drug law violations.

Federal Activist Toolkit

We can make a powerful impact by urging our members of Congress to end failed drug war policies. They care what their constituents have to say.
 

Tips for Talking to Congress

Legislators appreciate hearing from their constituents, and they are elected to represent our views. Always give your legislator your name, address, and telephone number so that they know you are one of their constituents. Be sure to include this information whether you visit in person, call, or write.

When you contact your legislators, a short sentence or two about why you personally support or oppose a certain proposal is fine. 

Most importantly, always be courteous and clear when communicating with your legislators. Remember, legislators are people, too!

Staying Alive

March 13, 2009
CBC News

David Brodrick is 40 years old. He is from Toronto. He was adopted, and at the age of 12 he ran away from home. He started injecting drugs after he found out he was HIV positive in 1990. Dave was the first peer counselor for inmates with HIV in a federal penitentiary in Ontario.

Supervised Drug Injection Sites? New Research in Canada Shows They Reduce HIV, Overdose Deaths, and Even Help Encourage Addicts into Treatment

May 31, 2007
Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance
Huffington Post

What should be done about the millions of people in the United States and around the world who inject heroin and other drugs? For 30-plus years, the U.S. has pushed a "war on drugs" that is more accurately a war on drug users. This war on drugs has not delivered on its promise to keep drugs off our streets or to prevent people from using, but it has filled our prisons beyond capacity and led to far too many cases of HIV/AIDS related to sharing contaminated needles.

Police And Public Health Partnerships: Evidence From The Evaluation Of Vancouver's Supervised Injection Facility

May 7, 2008
Kora DeBeck, et al.
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy

In various settings, drug market policing strategies have been found to have unintended negative effects on health service use among injection drug users (IDU). This has prompted calls for more effective coordination of policing and public health efforts. In Vancouver, Canada, a supervised injection facility (SIF) was established in 2003. We sought to determine if local police impacted utilization of the SIF.

Findings from the Evaluation of Vancouver’s Pilot Medically Supervised Safer Injecting Facility – Insite

June 1, 2009
British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV / AIDS

 

In 2003, the regional health authority in Vancouver, Canada successfully applied to the federal government for a legal operating exemption to pilot North America’s first medically supervised injection facility (SIF) – Insite. This report provides a lay person’s description of the scientific evaluation of Insite, as well as summaries of the research findings related to its impact.

Insite

Since opening its doors in 2003, Insite has been a safe, health-focused place where people inject drugs and connect to health care services – from primary care to treat disease and infection, to addiction counselling and treatment. 

Insite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site. The BC Ministry of Health Services provides operational funding for Insite through Vancouver Coastal Health, which operates the facility.

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