Safe injection site

Safe injection site

The Guidelines for the operation and use of consumption rooms define Injecting rooms as "legally sanctioned and supervised facilities designed to reduce the health and public order problems associated with illegal ... drug use" Schneider W, St¨over H (eds). Guidelines for the operation and use of consumption rooms. Developed at the conference: consumption rooms as a professional service in addictions– health. M¨unster: akzept Bundesverband 2000, trans J. Kimber.] It describes various facilities where the consumption of illicit substances is legally permitted. The main focus for these facilities is reducing the harm associated with injecting drug use. There are very few in existence, mostly in Europe, with one in Australia and another in Canada. The European rooms operate as drug consumption rooms, which means that they are simply spaces where consumption of illicit substances is legal. The Australian and Canadian facilities were set up later, and operate as supervised injecting centres. In these facilities illicit drug use is permitted, but there is a more clinical approach to the service delivery, with a large staff of nurses overseeing proceedings, and basic life support equipment is available if needed.

European drug consumption rooms

As of 2000, there were 16 legal drug consumption rooms in the Netherlands, the first being set up in the 1970scite journal | author = KATE DOLAN, JO KIMBER, CRAIG FRY, JOHN FITZGERALD, DAVID MCDONALD & FRANZ TRAUTMANN | year = 2000 | title = Drug consumption facilities in Europe and the establishment of supervised injecting centres in Australia | journal = Drug and Alcohol Review | volume = 19 | pages = 337–346 | doi = 10.1080/713659379 ] , 17 in Switzerland, the first in 1985 and 13 in Germany, the first in 1994, in Oslo, Norway, opened in 2005 and Copenhagen, Denmark 2007. These centres are usually located in urban areas, with the primary aims to reduce negative health effects and minimise the public disturbance arising from street-based drug use.

Australian and Canadian supervised injecting centres

The Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre opened in May, 2001, in Kings Cross, Sydneycite book | last = Van Beek | first = Ingrid | year = 2004 | title = In the eye of the needle: Diary of medically supervised injecting centre | publisher = Allen & Unwin | location = Crows Nest] . It was set up as a recommendation of the Wood Royal Commission to combat street crime in the area and reduce police corruption Report on the Establishment or Trial of Safe Injecting Rooms By The Joint Select Committee into Safe Injecting Rooms, Parliament of New South Wales, Executive Summary] . The Canadian Insite Supervised Injection Site commenced operation in in 2003. As well as public order and improving health, the major difference between the supervised injecting centres and the unsupervised European model is the more clinical nature of the service. Oxygen and Naloxone (Narcan) are administered in the case of opioid and heroin overdose.


Injecting rooms are controversial because they are an attempt to decrease the negative consequences of existing drug abuse, rather than fighting drug abuse through law enforcement. Critics of the practice say that they encourage drug abuse. A common approach to drug policy is to have three layers:
* to prevent people first using drugs (harm prevention)
* to prevent drugs from reaching the population (supply reduction)
* to prevent harm to people who use drugs despite the attempts of the previous two policy focuses (harm minimisation). Injecting centres fall under this approach.Much of the controversy over injecting centres is about the distribution of resources between the three approaches. Conservative opponents (such as Australian politicians Gordon Moyes and Fred Nile) say that little to no money should be spent on harm minimisation strategies, and instead redirect funds to preventative measures. Opponents argue that the sites send a message that the government supports illegal drug use, and that the sites themselves are unnecessary, costly, and contribute to crime in the area which they are situated. Many of the assessments carried out on the Canadian and Australian projects have found no evidence to back this last claimStaff Writer. " [ Research Results] ." "Vancouver Coastal Health: Insite." Retrieved August 1, 2006.] cite journal | author = Neil Donnelly and Lucy Snowball | year = 2006 | month = November | title = Recent trends in property and drug-related crime in Kings Cross | journal = Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice | volume = 105 | pages = 1–7 | url = ] .

ee also

* Insite - Supervised Injection Site in Canada
*Illicit drug use in Australia
*Harm reduction

External links

* [ Homepage of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre]
* [ Former Insite Employee: Fight For Insite]
* [ Homepage for Insite]
* [ Vancouver Coastal Health]
* [ Fact sheets on harm reduction strategies for the injection of illicit drugs]
* [ Canadian Encyclopedia, Macleans Articles: Vancouver's Safe-Injection Sites Controversy]
* [ Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre]
* " [ Making a Point: What a Canadian Safe Injection Site May Look Like] " Illustrative feature from CBC Radio 3 Magazine. (Flash, Feb 2003)


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