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Policy brief – how supervised consumption sites can save lives and improve local communities

At the 10th International Conference on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users, held in Glasgow, Scotland, international policymakers gathered to discuss the global overdose crisis and the role that supervised consumption sites can play in helping end these needless and preventable deaths. (INHSU-  International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users SDF – Scottish Drugs Forum, Glasgow City Alcohol and Drug Partnership and Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, Oktober 2022)


USA. NYU Langone to Study Ability of Overdose Prevention Centers to Counter Unprecedented Overdose Crisis

NYU Langone Health and Brown University’s School of Public Health today announced a grant award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to conduct research to measure the impact of some of the first publicly recognized overdose prevention centers (OPCs) in the United States, located in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island. NYU Langone Health, USA, 08.05.2023)


USA. US backs study of safe injection sites, overdose prevention

For the first time, the U.S. government will pay for a large study measuring whether overdoses can be prevented by so-called safe injection sites, places where people can use heroin and other illegal drugs and be revived if they take too much. 

The grant provides more than $5 million over four years to New York University and Brown University to study two sites in New York City and one opening next year in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Researchers hope to enroll 1,000 adult drug users to study the sites’ effects on overdoses, to estimate their costs and to gauge potential savings for the health care and criminal justice systems. (AP, USA, 08.05.2023)



Frankreich. Study: French Drug Injection Rooms Cut ER Visits And Crime

A French study on drug consumption rooms (DCRs) in Paris and Strasbourg – where people inject drugs safely – shows less overdoses, shared needles, abscesses, ER visits, public drug use, and crime, compared to cities without DCRs. (codeblue, Malaysia, 25.04.2023)


Kanada. Not 1 person has died at Hamilton YWCA's unique safer use drug space since it opened a year ago

The supervised overnight drop-in for women to use illicit substances is the only one in Hamilton. (CBC, Kanada, 22.04.2023)


Berlin. Vorstellung der „Kontaktstelle mit Drogenkonsumraum SKA“

In Berlin-Kreuzberg, in einem Wohngebiet zwischen dem Kottbusser Tor und dem Görlitzer Park, liegt die Kontaktstelle mit Drogenkonsumraum SKA. Von montags bis freitags können Besucher*innen  hier intravenös, inhalativ oder nasal Opiate, Kokain, Amphetamin und deren Derivate konsumieren. Gleichzeitig werden Ausstiegs- und Überlebenshilfen sowie die Ausgabe von Safer-Use-Konsumartikeln angeboten. 

Natascha Jaeger, Diplom-Sozialarbeiterin und sozialarbeiterische Leitung der Einrichtung, stellt uns die Kontaktstelle vor. (DAH – Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, 22.03.2023)


Bremen. Konsumraum für Drogenabhängige am Bremer Hauptbahnhof kommt früher

Der geplante Konsumraum für Drogenabhängige in der Nähe des Bremer Hauptbahnhofs soll früher in Betrieb gehen als ursprünglich geplant. Das hat Gesundheitssenatorin Claudia Bernhard (Linke) mitgeteilt. Sie kündigte einen provisorischen Umbau des Gebäudes bereits in den kommenden Wochen an. 

Es gehe darum, jetzt kurzfristig eine Anlaufstelle insbesondere für Crackabhängige mit einem umfangreichen Hilfsangebot zu schaffen, sagte Bernhard. Dazu gehöre etwa mehr Beratung für den sicheren Konsum der Droge, Beratungen zum Ausstieg und eine psychosoziale Betreuung. Auch Essensangebote soll es laut Gesundheitssenatorin dort geben. "Ich bin sehr froh, dass wir das alles jetzt kurzfristig anbieten können", sagte Bernhard. (Radio Bremen, buten un binnen, 02.02.2023)


Kanada. Supervised consumption site working well: staff 

The Yukon’s first supervised consumption site opened in Whitehorse months after the government declared a territory-wide substance use emergency in January 2022. (Whitehouse Daily Star, Kanada, 10.03.2023)


Berlin. Fixpunkt Berlin: Supporting People Who Use Crack in Berlin (Video)

A harm reduction organisation is on the frontline of helping those marginalised people who use crack on the streets – Read our report from Berlin and watch our short film about the drug consumption van by Fixpunkt! (Drug Reporter, Ungarn, 08.03.2023, Video, 11:16)


USA. Facing overdose crisis, Mayor Adams says NYC will seek to lower drug deaths by 15%

In response to a record surge in drug overdose fatalities, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday a plan to expand intervention services in neighborhoods hit hardest by the crisis.

Along with distributing free overdose kits using the medication naloxone and offering a wide array of services to drug users, city health officials will seek to expand the number of overdose prevention centers — which offer supervised injection as well as counseling — from two to five by 2025. The city did not specify where the new sites would be, but cited the South Bronx as a community in need of more overdose intervention services.

The mayor said the goal would be to reduce overdose deaths by 15% over the next three years. (The Gothamist, USA, 02.03.2023)


NRW. Suchtkooperation NRW richtet Drogenkonsum-FAQ ein

Köln. Wie werden Drogenkonsumräume in den Kommunen geplant? Dazu hat die Suchtkooperation NRW auf ihrer Internetseite einen Bereich mit häufig gestellten Fragen eingerichtet. Hintergrund dafür ist, dass es im Zuge der hohen Zahl drogenbedingter Todesfälle im Jahr 2021 auch in Nordrhein-Westfalen zu einer neuen Diskussion um zusätzliche Drogenkonsumräume gekommen ist. Die Suchtkooperation möchte in diesem Fall mit ihrer Expertise Hilfe anbieten. (Suchtkooperation NRW, 2023)


USA. San Francisco eyes supervised drug use sites — again

Gov. Gavin Newsom nixed a plan for state-sanctioned drug use sites last year. Now, San Francisco officials are forging ahead without him.

Mayor London Breed said Wednesday she’s working with Supervisor Hillary Ronen to overturn a city law that gets in the way of allowing non-profits to set up safe injection sites, where people can inject drugs in a hygienic environment, with clean needles, under the supervision of people trained to prevent overdoses. (Politico, USA, 19.01.2023)


A scoping review of qualitative research on barriers and facilitators to the use of supervised consumption services. 

Ivsins A, Warnock A, Small W, Strike C, Kerr T, Bardwell G. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2023 Jan;111:103910. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2022.103910. Epub 2022 Nov 24. PMID: 36436364.



USA. The Opioid Crisis: New York’s supervised injection sites have halted nearly 700 overdoses in just over a year

Since November 2021, New York’s sites together have served more than 2,100 people using drugs more than 50,000 times. No one has died there. (USA, The Philiadelphi Inquirer, 03.01.2023)


Kanada. First supervised drug inhalation service in Ontario opens in Toronto amid rise in smoking-related OD deaths

For the first time in Ontario, people who choose to inhale their substances now have a safe, indoor space to go.

Toronto’s Casey House has now added drug inhalation to the list of services it offers through its supervised consumption service. (CP24, Kanada, 18.12.2022)


Griechenland. A Visit to the Drug Consumption Room in Athens

At the international meeting of the Corelation European Harm Reduction Network, participants had a chance to visit the Drug Consumption room of OKANA, the largest service provider in Greece. The Drug consumption room started as a pilot project back in 2011, to reduce needle sharing and infections, to end overdoses and to reduce public nuisance caused by the open drug scenes in Athens. The room could only operate for 9 months as a pilot project, before the prosecutor shut it down. Athenians had to wait ten years, to be able to finally open it again. (drugreporter, Ungarn, 23.11.2022, Video, 20:23)


Bayern. Drogensucht: Warum gibt es keine Konsumräume in Bayern? (Audio und Text)

Jedes Jahr sterben in Bayern etwa 250 Menschen an ihrer Drogensucht. Häufig ist die Ursache eine Überdosis - zum Beispiel von Heroin. Medizinisch überwachte Konsumräume könnten helfen. Doch die Staatsregierung ist bisher dagegen. (Bayerischer Rundfunk, 24.09.2022, Audio, 04:58)


Schottland. Edinburgh drug consumption room study underway after deaths hit record high

Whilst Glasgow's council continues to make the legal case for consumption rooms, Edinburgh is looking at the cost and possible location of such a facility in the capital. (edinburghlive, UK, 01.11.2022)


The onset and severity of acute opioid toxicity in heroin overdose cases: a retrospective cohort study at a supervised injecting facility in Melbourne, Australia. 

Stam NC, Cogger S, Schumann JL, Weeks A, Roxburgh A, Dietze PM, Clark N. 

Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2022 Oct 6:1-8. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2022.2126371. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36200988.


“Overdose Has Many Faces”: The Politics of Care in Responding to Overdose at Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre. 

Dertadian, G. C., & Yates, K. (2022). 

Contemporary Drug Problems0(0). doi.org/10.1177/00914509221134716


The North American opioid crisis: how effective are supervised consumption sites?

Kennedy, Mary Clare et al.

The Lancet, Volume 400, Issue 10361, 1403 - 1404 


NRW. Jahresbericht 2021 - Drogenkonsumräume in Nordrhein-Westfalen

Hrsg.: SuchtKooperation NRW, 2022


Impact of drug consumption rooms on non-fatal overdoses, abscesses and emergency department visits in people who inject drugs in France: results from the COSINUS cohort. 

Roux P, Jauffret-Roustide M, Donadille C, Briand Madrid L, Denis C, Célérier I, Chauvin C, Hamelin N, Maradan G, Carrieri MP, Protopopescu C, Lalanne L, Auriacombe M; COSINUS Study Group. 

Int J Epidemiol. 2022 Jun 12:dyac120. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyac120. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35690956.


'Why would we not want to keep everybody safe?' The views of family members of people who use drugs on the implementation of drug consumption rooms in Scotland. 

Parkes T, Price T, Foster R, Trayner KMA, Sumnall HR, Livingston W, Perkins A, Cairns B, Dumbrell J, Nicholls J. 

Harm Reduct J. 2022 Aug 29;19(1):99. doi: 10.1186/s12954-022-00679-5. PMID: 36038919; PMCID: PMC9421633.


Australien. Inside the clinic helping heroin users ‘break that cycle’

Adelaide's heroin consumption reached the highest levels on record last year. From within Clinic H in the city, Dr Benny Tang is helping hundreds of people to stop using the street drug. (CityMag, Australien, 23.08.2022)


USA. California Becomes Second State to Defy Federal Law and Authorize Safe Consumption Sites

This week the California State legislature passed and sent to the Governor’s desk SB57, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, which authorizes the County and City of San Francisco, the County and City of Los Angeles, and the City of Oakland to approve safe consumption sites, dubbed “Overdose Prevention Programs” (OPPs). The authorization remains in effect until January 1, 2028. Any jurisdiction that establishes an OPP must contract with an independent third party, using private funds, to conduct a peer‐​reviewed study on the impacts of the program and submit results to the Governor’s office no later than January 15, 2027.

This bill was passed almost exactly one year after Rhode Island’s Governor signed similar legislation. Last November, the City of New York authorized two safe consumption sites. A privately‐funded organization in Philadelphia, authorized by the City Council, has been attempting to establish a site called Safehouse since 2018, but the organization’s efforts have thus far been thwarted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). (CATO Institute, USA, 02.08.2022)


Acceptability of supervised injection facilities among persons who inject drugs in upstate New York. 

Duncan E, Shufelt S, Barranco M, Udo T. 

Harm Reduct J. 2022 Jul 30;19(1):87. doi: 10.1186/s12954-022-00665-x. PMID: 35907854; PMCID: PMC9338679.


Overdose Prevention Centers: An Essential Strategy to Address the Overdose Crisis. 

Samuels EA, Bailer DA, Yolken A. 

JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jul 1;5(7):e2222153. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.22153. PMID: 35838675.


Finnland. Finnish Drug Consumption Rooms Gain Popular and Political Support

According to the latest EMCDDA Drug Report, there were 258 drug-induced deaths in Finland in 2020, one of the highest rates in Europe considering the population size is about 5 and half million. To prevent increasing drug deaths, the city of Helsinki tried to introduce in 2019 a separate law reform that would allow for drug consumption rooms (DCRs) in the city. Late last year, Veronika Honkasalo from the Left Party Alliance with several other members of the Finnish Parliament inquired from the minister in charge when the government would act on the proposed initiative by the city of Helsinki as they had failed to do so. Earlier this year the National Institute of Health Social Affairs (THL) also recommended DCRs as one of many ways to prevent drug-induced deaths, but the Finnish government has not yet managed to implement such a law, nor has it signalled willingness to do so. Drug use and possession have been considered criminal acts in Finland since 1972 and this half a century old law is now preventing the implementation of DCRs and thereby an effective harm reduction measure that could save lives. (Talking Drugs, UK, 03.08.2022)


First 2 Months of Operation at First Publicly Recognized Overdose Prevention Centers in US. 

Harocopos A, Gibson BE, Saha N, McRae MT, See K, Rivera S, Chokshi DA. 

JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jul 1;5(7):e2222149. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.22149. PMID: 35838672; PMCID: PMC9287749.