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.

Benefits

Supervised injection facilities provide sterile injection equipment, information about reducing the harms of drugs, health care, treatment referrals, and access to medical staff. Some offer counseling, hygienic amenities, and other services.

They are also successful in reducing public disorder associated with illicit drug use, including improper syringe disposal and public drug use.

SIFs have been researched and evaluated for years. The evidence is conclusive that they reduce HIV and hepatitis transmission risks, prevent overdose deaths, reduce public injections, reduce discarded syringes, and increase the number of people who enter drug treatment.

Locations

There are now actually approximately 100 SIFs operating in at least 66 cities around the world in nine countries (Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Spain, Denmark, Australia and Canada). The first North American supervised injection site, Insite, opened in Vancouver, Canada in 2003.

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.

While gaining acceptance for a U.S. facility will be an uphill battle, we are committed to challenging the stigma surrounding injection drug use and introducing political leaders and the public to the health and societal benefits that supervised injection sites bring to local communities.

Tuesday: California Assembly Committee Hearing on Supervised Consumption Services for People Who Use Drugs

Speakers Include Canadian Senator Larry Campbell, Former Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer and Mayor of Vancouver Who Established First Supervised Consumption Facility in North America

Bill Creates a Public Health Response to California’s Overdose Crisis; Allows Cities to Provide A Safe and Supervised Space for People Who Use Drugs

Tuesday, April 5, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee will hold a legislative hearing on AB 2495 (Eggman) to permit localities to establish supervised consumption services (SCS), which allow individuals to consume controlled substances in a safe space, provide sterile equipment, and connect patients to treatment, medical care, and other social services.

Contact:

Laura Thomas 415-283-6366
Tony Newman: 646-335-5384

Tuesday: Maryland House of Delegates to Hold Groundbreaking Hearings on Two Harm Reduction Bills

One Bill Creates a Safe and Supervised Space for People to Use Drugs; The Other Would Establish a Pilot Program to Treat Opioid Dependence with Poly-Morphone Therapy

Proposals are Part of Groundbreaking Package of Harm Reduction Drug Policy Bills That Would Also Decriminalize Small Amounts of All Drugs and Provide Treatment-at-Need in ER’s and Hospitals

Tuesday at 1pm, the Maryland House of Delegates will hold legislative hearings on two progressive legislative proposals aimed at treating drug use as a health issue. House Bill 1212 permits the establishment of safe consumption programs, which allow individuals to consume controlled substances in a safe space, provide sterile equipment, and connect patients to treatment, medical care, and other social services.

Contact:

Delegate Dan Morhaim, 410-841-3054
Lindsay LaSalle, 510-679-2315
Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

Tuesday: Maryland House of Delegates to Hold the First-Ever Legislative Hearing in the U.S. on Decriminalization of Small Amounts of Illicit Drugs

Decriminalization Bill Part of Groundbreaking Package of Harm Reduction Drug Policy Bills

Four Proposed Bills Would Provide Treatment-at-Need in ER’s and Hospitals, Decriminalize Small Amounts of All Drugs, Set Up Safe Consumption Programs, and More

Tuesday at 1pm, the Maryland House of Delegates will hold the first-ever legislative hearing on decriminalizing small amounts of illegal drugs, including cocaine and heroin. House Bill 1119, which removes criminal penalties for low-level, non-violent drug offenses under certain minimal threshold limits and instead imposes a civil fine, will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee.

Contact:

Delegate Dan Morhaim, 410-841-3054
Lindsay LaSalle, 510-679-2315
Tony Newman, 212-613-8026

Public Health Advocates Call for NYC to Authorize Supervised Injection Facilities to Fight Overdose Crisis

Latest Health Department Data Shows New Increase in Heroin Overdose Deaths

New York, NY – The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) today released new data showing that in 2014 heroin overdose deaths in New York City increased for the fourth straight year. While NYC government has long supported overdose prevention services – especially efforts to make the opioid overdose antidote naloxone available – health advocates say much more needs to be done, including establishing supervised injection facilities (SIFs).

Contact:

Matt Curtis 646-234-9062
Julie Netherland, 917-817-0309

Amid Growing Concerns about Overdose, Homelessness, and Public Drug Use, Advocates Launch Campaign for Supervised Injection Facilities in New York

Public Forum Held with International Experts Explaining How Supervised Injection Facilities Reduce Overdose Deaths, Disease Transmission, and Public Disorder

Hundreds of New Yorkers Turn Out In Support of Supervised Injection Facilities

New York City -- Homelessness and public drug use are on the rise in New York, and accidental drug overdoses now kill more people than car accidents in the U.S. As the Mayor and Police Commissioner Bratton struggle to find solutions to these problems, advocates in New York are calling for effective public health solutions like those being used in cities throughout Europe and Canada.

Contact:

Matt Curtis: 646-234-9062
Julie Netherland: 212-613-8063

Advocates Launch Campaign for Supervised Injection Facilities in New York

International Strategies May Offer Solutions for New York’s Increasing Problem with Heroin Use, Preventable Overdose Deaths, Disease Transmission, and Public Drug Use

Wednesday: Amy Goodman, Host of “Democracy Now!” Moderates Community Forum with International Experts to Discuss Public Injection Drug Use and Supervised Injection Facilities

New York City -- Homelessness and public drug use are on the rise in New York, and accidental drug overdoses now kill more people than car accidents in the U.S. But effective public health solutions are available and being used in cities throughout Europe, Canada, and Australia.

Contact:

Julie Netherland: 212-613-8063
Matt Curtis:  646-234-9062

Tuesday: New Film Documents Public Injection Drug Use in New York, Calls for Supervised Injection Facilities

Increasing Heroin Use, Unprecedented Homelessness Crisis Drive Preventable Overdose Deaths, Disease Transmission, and Public Disorder

New York, NY – The documentary film Everywhere But Safe: Public Injecting in New York premieres on August 25 at the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem. Filmed in New York City, Albany, Schenectady, and Columbia County, NY, the film documents the health and safety consequences for the thousands of New Yorkers who inject drugs in public and semi-public places due to homelessness and other factors.

Contact:

Taeko Frost 646-510-0446

Matt Curtis, 646-234-9062  

Harm Reduction and Human Rights: Strategies on Expanding Harm Reduction Through Human Rights

May 20, 2015

Watch the recording now!

Harm reduction services and syringe exchange are more than just a prevention strategy. Access to these vital services enables HIV testing, linkage to care and other critical health/social services, as well as affirming the human rights and dignity of people who use drugs.

White House Opiate Overdose Program Announced Today is One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Advocates: Public Health Goals Are Positive, But Overreliance on Law Enforcement Destined to Fail

Obama Administration Urged to Take More Meaningful Steps to Treat Drug Use as a Health Issue

Washington, D.C. – The Obama Administration announced a new program today to fund “public health-public safety partnerships” to address the heroin and prescription opioid crisis.  The new program would hire 15 drug intelligence officers and 15 health policy analysts to work within High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs.  The drug intelligence officers are expected to gather information on trafficking patterns and trends for street-level law enforcement.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Bill Piper 202-683-2985

Prestigious Study Found Heroin-Assisted Treatment Produces Benefits to Individuals and Society

Study Focused on Six Countries and Found Reductions in Illegal Drug Use, Crime and Health Care Costs Without Harming Public Safety

Nevada State Senate Considered Legislation for Heroin-Assisted Treatment Trial Project

A seminal review recently published in the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry confirms that heroin-assisted treatment, also known as supervised injectable heroin treatment or heroin-maintenance, is an effective treatment for patients who have not responded to standard treatment options such as methadone or residential rehabilitation. Heroin-assisted treatment refers to the supervised administration of pharmaceutical-grade heroin to a small group of particularly difficult-to-treat chronic heroin users.

Contact:

Lindsay LaSalle 510-847-8064
Tony Newman 646-335-5384

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