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.

NM State Legislature Passes Groundbreaking Memorial Aimed at Reducing Overdose, Including Study of Medically Supervised Injection Sites

New Mexico Leads Nation in Fatal Drug Overdoses, More than Two Times the National Average; Overdose Deaths Now Outnumber Traffic Fatalities

(Santa Fe) – Tonight, a memorial requesting a study to enhance and expand New Mexico’s harm reduction programs, including overdose prevention, sailed through the State Senate with unanimous support on both sides of the aisle.  Senate Memorial 45, sponsored by Senator R. Martinez (representing Rio Arriba, Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties), passed with a vote of 43-0 and requests the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico to conduct the study. The New Mexico Public Health Association endorsed Senate Memorial 45.

Emily Kaltenbach 505-920-5256 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384

Senator Richard Martinez Introduces a Package of Legislation Aimed at Reducing the Staggering Number of Unintentional Drug Overdose Deaths

The Senator’s Legislation Includes a Study to Explore Cutting-edge, Evidence-based Prevention Programs such as Medically Supervised Injection Sites

New Mexico Leads Nation in Fatal Drug Overdoses, More than Two Times the National Average; Overdose Deaths Now Outnumber Traffic Fatalities

(Santa Fe) – Senator R. Martinez (representing Rio Arriba, Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties) has introduced a package of legislation (SB90 and SJM21) aimed at reducing the epidemic of unintentional drug overdoses. New Mexico’s overdose prevention programs are a national model. Unfortunately, not enough people know they exist or how to access services.

Emily Kaltenbach 505-920-5256 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384

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.

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