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USA/NY. Overdose Prevention Centers Averted 59 Overdoses in First Three Weeks of Operation

The Health Department today announced that, in the first three weeks of operation, staff at the two Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) in New York City, operated by OnPoint NYC, averted at least 59 overdoses to prevent injury and death. In the first three weeks of operation, the centers have been used more than 2,000 times. (NYC Health, 21.12.2021)

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/about/press/pr2021/overdose-prevention-centers-prevent-59-deaths.page

UK. How Peter Krykant Tackled the UK Drug Death Crisis (Video)

Peter Krykant talks about why he bought an old ambulance and set up an overdose prevention facility. (Transform Drug Policy Foundation, UK, 10.01.2022, Video, 02:19)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkxLv3Q5a2k

Kanada. Tensions Mount in Fight to Open Ontario Safe Consumption Site

Harm reduction advocates are fighting to open the second safe consumption site (SCS) in Hamilton, Ontario. But some residents, including a Catholic school board, are opposing the proposal.

The new SCS, if approved, will be operated by local nonprofit the AIDS Network. The city is already home to one SCS, run by the Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre, which first opened as a temporary service in June 2018. It was formally authorized in April 2020, and expanded its work after receiving provincial funding later that summer.

The new SCS could go even further. “The model of service we’re proposing is actually more than what is required [by provincial regulations],” AIDS Network Executive Director Tim McClemont told Filter. “We’re proposing additional wraparound services, everything from peer services to addiction medical care to referrals to housing and other health care support. This will become like a mini health center.” (Filter, USA, 29.11.2021)

https://filtermag.org/hamilton-ontario-safe-consumption-site

Irland. Video: Presentation on the campaign for a Supervised Injecting Facility in Dublin, Ireland

Watch this video presentation, recorded by Eugene McCann, about policy mobilities and the campaign for a Supervised Injecting Facility in Dublin, Ireland. (Ana Lifey Drug Project, Irland, Dezember 2021, Video, 13:27)

https://www.aldp.ie/news/video-presentation-on-the-campaign-for-a-supervised-injecting-facility-in-dublin-ireland/

UK. Britain's first drug consumption space opens in Bristol today

It's unofficial... and it's controversial. (Bristol live, UK, 02.12.2021)

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/britains-first-drug-consumption-space-6289925

USA. New York City allows the nation's 1st supervised consumption sites for illegal drugs

Officials in New York City say the first government-approved supervised drug injection sites in the nation began offering services to people with addiction on Tuesday.

The program, backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is part of the city's "harm reduction" strategy designed to reduce an unprecedented surge of overdose deaths. (npr – National Public Radio, USA, 30.11.2021, Audio/Text, 04:00)

https://www.npr.org/2021/11/30/1054921116/illegal-drug-injection-sites-nyc

Health impacts of a scale-up of supervised injection services in a Canadian setting: an interrupted time series analysis. 

Kennedy MC, Hayashi K, Milloy M-J, Compton M, Kerr T. 

Addiction. 2021;1–12., doi.org/10.1111/add.15717

https://www.bccsu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Kennedy-et-al.-Health-impacts-of-a-scale-up-of-supervised-injection-services-in-a-Canadian-setting-Proofs.pdf

UK. The drug consumption van providing a safe space for drug-users

A drugs consumption van designed to provide a safe space for drug users to inject substances visited Bristol as part of an awareness campaign. 

The people behind the drug consumption space - which is a converted minibus - call it an Overdose Prevention Centre (OPC).  (ITV-News, UK, 02.12.2021)

https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2021-12-02/the-drug-consumption-van-providing-a-safe-space-for-drug-users

USA. San Francisco Aims To Open Supervised Drug Use Site In Spring

To combat San Francisco’s high rate of overdoses, Mayor London Breed said Tuesday she hopes to open a center in the spring where people could use drugs under the watch of medical professionals—though drug use sites are illegal under federal law. (Forbes, USA, 16.11.2021)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/masonbissada/2021/11/16/san-francisco-aims-to-open-supervised-drug-use-site-in-spring

Schottland. Scottish Government working on new plan for drug consumption room in Glasgow, says John Swinney

Deputy First Minister reveals officials are “actively exploring” ways to open a facility where illegal substances can be taken safely, to reduce risk of deaths. (i news, UK, 11.11.2021)

https://inews.co.uk/news/scotland/glasgow-drug-consumption-room-plan-scottish-government-john-swinney-1296431

Assessing Drug Consumption Rooms and Longer Term (5 Year) Impacts on Community and Clients. 

Tran V, Reid SE, Roxburgh A, Day CA. 

Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2021;14:4639-4647, doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S244720

https://www.dovepress.com/assessing-drug-consumption-rooms-and-longer-term-5-year-impacts-on-com-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-RMHP

Kanada. WHY SCS: Canada is experiencing an overdose emergency, which killed over 21,000 people between 2016 and 2020. Supervised Consumption Services (SCS) are a core component of Canada’s overdose response.

WHY SCS is a project of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM). The WHY SCS team works with substance use researchers, people with lived and/or living experience of substance use, and healthcare providers to provide accurate information about supervised consumption services (SCS) in Canada. (WHY SCS, Kanada, November 2021)

https://www.whyscs.ca/about

Mexiko. The Risk Environment of People Who Inject Drugs in the U.S./Mexico Border: The case of Mexicali, the harm reduction NGO “Verter”, and the first safe consumption site in Latin America, La Sala.

How can we address issues of substance use in high-risk environments? The Northern Mexican border, a major drug and migratory route, is one of the only regions in Latin America where people inject drugs. In the city of Mexicali, the harm reduction NGO “Verter” serves this neglected population. Verter provides services such as an unsanctioned safe consumption site and a needle exchange program, among others. This presentation will describe the “risk environment” of Mexicali, situate the work of Verter, and consider the implications for harm reduction interventions in under-resourced contexts. (Pablo González-Nieto, Quest University, Kanada, 2020)

https://questu.ca/grad/2020/fall/the-risk-environment-of-people-who-inject-drugs-in-the-u-s-mexico-border-the-case-of-mexicali-the-harm-reduction-ngo-verter-and-the-first-safe-consumption-site-in-latin-america-la-sala/

USA. In a bid to stop overdose deaths, California could allow drug use at supervised sites 

(…) Deaths from drug overdoses have surged during the pandemic, claiming more than 90,000 lives last year across the country, according to federal data. As the numbers have soared, many experts, advocates and lawmakers have promoted an idea still fresh to the United States: giving people a safe place to inject drugs under supervision. 

In California, it would be the most dramatic step to date for government and health officials in pursuing the philosophy of harm reduction, which seeks pragmatic ways to reduce the harmful effects of drug use. The idea was shot down three years ago by Gov. Jerry Brown, who vetoed a bill to try out such sites in San Francisco and said that “enabling illegal and destructive drug use will never work.” (Los Angeles Times, USA, 23.10.2021)

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-10-23/harm-reduction-california-could-allow-drug-use-at-supervised-sites

USA. Rhode Island Set to Be First State to Pilot Safe-Injection Sites for Drug Users 

Sites for users of fentanyl, other drugs would test strategy of harm reduction over criminalization. (Wall Street Journal, USA, 04.11.2021)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/rhode-island-set-to-be-first-state-to-pilot-safe-injection-sites-for-drug-users-11635067801

Predicting the impact of placing an overdose prevention site in Philadelphia: a mathematical modeling approach. 

Wares, J.R., Dong, J., Gevertz, J.L. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 110 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00559-4

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-021-00559-4

"You don't have to squirrel away in a staircase": Patient motivations for attending a novel supervised drug consumption service in acute care. 

Kosteniuk B, Salvalaggio G, McNeil R, Brooks HL, Dong K, Twan S, Brouwer J, Hyshka E. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2021 May 18:103275. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103275. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34020865.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395921001791

Schottland. Safer drug consumption facilities: evidence paper

This paper highlights the evidence in support of safer drug consumption facilities. (Scottish Government, 21.10.2021)

https://www.gov.scot/publications/safer-drug-consumption-facilites-evidence-paper/pages/4/

USA/NY. De Blasio administration pushes to approve supervised injection sites 

The New York City health department is “moving aggressively” to green-light a long-stalled pilot program to open at least two supervised injection facilities aimed at reducing overdose deaths, according to four people with knowledge of the plan. (politico, USA, 25.10.2021)

https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2021/10/25/de-blasio-administration-to-approve-supervised-injection-sites-1392031

USA. For Maine’s Church of Safe Injection, a Bittersweet Legalization

On September 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized a Maine syringe service program (SSP) to do what it had already been doing for several years. Church of Safe Injection (CoSI) will now be legally delivering hypodermic syringes to five municipalities: Bethel, Dixfield and Rumford—small Oxford County towns with populations of a few thousand each—and the larger cities of Lewiston and Westbrook. (Filter, USA, 07.10.2021)

https://filtermag.org/maine-church-of-safe-injection

USA. Supreme Court Setback in Safehouse Fight for SCS: Will Biden Break His Silence?

On October 12, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) chose not to hear a lawsuit over Philadelphia nonprofit Safehouse. The embattled harm reduction group, which for the past several years has been on the frontlines of the fight to open legal safe consumption sites (SCS) in the US, vowed to keep pursuing the case in federal court. (Filter, USA, 14.10.2021)

https://filtermag.org/safehouse-philadelphia-scotus-case/

Schweiz. Offene Drogenszene in Chur: «Wir Drögeler sind denen da oben egal»

Im Churer Stadtpark hat sich eine der letzten offenen Drogenszenen etabliert. Die Süchtigen verwahrlosen immer mehr. Fachleute, Drögeler und die Stadt fordern ein Fixerstübli. Doch der Zuständige, der Kanton, blockt. Wo liegt das Problem? Ein Besuch im Stadtpark. (Blick, Schweiz, 12.09.2021)

https://www.blick.ch/schweiz/graubuenden/letzte-offene-drogenszene-in-chur-wir-droegeler-sind-denen-da-oben-egal-id16821931.html

Kanada/Nova Scotia. Sydney overdose prevention site could include machine that dispenses safe supplies of opioids

Organizers hope to take part in nationally funded project that uses palm scanning to safely dispense opioids. (CBC, Kanada, 28.09.2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/sydney-overdose-site-drug-vending-machine-1.6191261

Kanada. Like a 'war zone': Some Toronto supervised consumption sites dealing with unprecedented numbers of ODs

Some days registered nurse Jessica Arteaga feels like she works at a field hospital in a war zone.

Arteaga works at Keep6ix, South Riverdale Community Health Centre’s supervised consumption site.

Since the onset of the pandemic, she said “unprecedented” numbers of people have overdosed on drugs at the east Toronto program.

In April 2019, the team at Keep6ix helped reverse five overdoses. Last March, that number hit 68. (The Star, Kanada, 03.10.2021)

https://www.thestar.com/local-toronto-east-york/news/2021/10/03/like-a-war-zone-some-toronto-supervised-consumption-sites-dealing-with-unprecedented-numbers-of-ods.html

USA. Urgent Calls For Supervised Drug Consumption At State House Hearing

Doctors, drug users, parents who’ve lost children to an overdose and street outreach workers on Monday urged lawmakers to launch a pilot of two or more supervised drug consumption sites in Massachusetts. (wbur.org, USA, 27.09.2021)

https://www.wbur.org/news/2021/09/27/massachusetts-supervised-drug-consumption

Australien. Medically supervised injecting rooms and the politics of illicit drug policy

It’s often presumed that centre-left political parties and governments favour a public health-based approach to illicit drug use designed mainly to save lives and reduce harm to individuals and the community, even if it results in an overall increase in drug use (what is called harm reduction).

In contrast, centre-right political counterparts prefer a law enforcement-based approach that prioritises a reduction in drug use irrespective of whether it results in higher levels of mortality for existing drug users (what is called zero tolerance). (Monash Universitiy, Australien, 30.08.2921)

https://lens.monash.edu/@politics-society/2021/08/30/1383696/medically-supervised-injecting-rooms-and-the-politics-of-illicit-drug-policy

USA. Rhode Island set to establish nation’s first harm reduction centers

Legislation written by the Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) and signed into law by Gov. Daniel McKee establishes a two-year pilot program to design, open and operate the nation’s first harm reduction centers that will save lives and direct people to treatment for substance-use disorders (SUDs). (AMA – American Medical Association, USA, 09.08.2021)

https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/opioids/rhode-island-set-establish-nation-s-first-harm-reduction-centers

Portugal. Porto to implement supervised drug-use site

This might be Portugal’s first non-mobile structure to offer such services

Twenty years after decriminalizing hard drug use, Portugal is now also turning to the provision of centres where users can safely consume drugs under the supervision of qualified medical and social personnel. The first such centre started in Lisbon in 2019 under the form of a mobile unit.

Porto will likely be the first city in the country to set up a permanent structure for the implementation of this specialized service. (themayor.eu, 13.07.2021)

https://www.themayor.eu/en/a/view/porto-to-implement-supervised-drug-use-site-8416

Webinar. Drug Consumption Rooms - Astrid Leicht, Fixpunkt Berlin

Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs), also known as Supervised/Safe Injection Facilities (SIFs), or Overdose Prevention Centres (OPCs), provide safe environments for people to consume controlled drugs under the supervision of trained professionals who can save lives if medical emergencies such as overdoses take place. These facilities can be a powerful harm reduction strategy when implemented correctly.

In this webinar, we learn from Astrid Leicht, co-founder of FixPunkt, who runs 2 successful drug consumption rooms in Berlin, including at the infamous Kottbusser Tor. Nationwide, there are 25 drug consumption rooms in Germany, and Astrid gives a detailed summary of the impact that these have had on drug use and drug-related harms. (Drug Science, UK, 21.06.2021)

https://www.drugscience.org.uk/drug-consumption-rooms/

Understanding the Stigma and Feasibility of Opening a Safe Injection Facility in Baltimore City: A Qualitative Case Study. 

Dupree, T., Wood, C. I., & Brace, A. M. (2021). 

The Qualitative Report, 26(6), 1911-1931. doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4689 

https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4689&context=tqr