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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) recognises that drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition and that it is complex and difficult to treat. MSIC does not support or promote drug use; it simply acknowledges that it is a fact of life.
SIF Allow People to Consume Their Drugs with Sterile Equipment in Presence of Medically-Trained Staff; Reduce HIV, Overdose Deaths and Public Drug Use, While Not Increasing Drug Use
SF Elected Officials Need to Embrace Science and Public Health Approach