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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)

https://www.cato.org/blog/california-becomes-second-state-defy-federal-law-authorize-safe-consumption-sites

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.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/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.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2794326

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)

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/finnish-drug-consumption-rooms-gain-popular-and-political-support

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.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9287749/

Kanada. Agency looking to open overdose prevention site in Saint John amid 'poisoned' drug supply

‘We just want to keep people alive,’ Avenue B executive director Julie Dingwell says. (CBC, Kanada, 20.07.2022)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/saint-john-overdose-prevention-site-1.6525303

Implementation and sustainability of safe consumption sites: a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis. 

Yoon GH, Levengood TW, Davoust MJ, Ogden SN, Kral AH, Cahill SR, Bazzi AR. 

Harm Reduct J. 2022 Jul 5;19(1):73. doi: 10.1186/s12954-022-00655-z. PMID: 35790994; PMCID: PMC9255520.

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-022-00655-z

USA/Kalifornien. Senator Wiener’s Safe Consumption Sites Legislation Passes Assembly

Sacramento - Senate Bill 57, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), passed the Assembly by a vote of 42-28. It will now return to the Senate for a concurrence vote — the bill previously passed the Senate but was amended in the Assembly — and then will go to the Governor’s desk to be signed. (Scott Wiener Representing Senate District 11, USA, 30.06.2022)

https://sd11.senate.ca.gov/news/20220630-senator-wiener%E2%80%99s-safe-consumption-sites-legislation-passes-assembly

USA. A Look Inside America's First Overdose Prevention Centre (Video)

Look around the Overdose Prevention Centre (OPC) that opened in New York at the end of 2021. This is the first of its kind in the whole of the USA. The OPC opened with permission from the police and local authorities, but not from the federal US government. These centres are also known as Drug Consumption Rooms or Supervised Injection Sites. OPCs prevent overdose deaths, reduce needle-sharing and public injecting, help increase numbers entering treatment, and are cost-effective reducing costs to health services and police. There are currently approaching 200 OPCs in operation across the world in fourteen countries including Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Norway, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Iceland and the US. (Transform, UK, 20.06.2022, Video, 04:32)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms9CV2m59MA

Belgien. Drugs: Brussels opens a supervised consumption room

Brussels, Belgium, May 2022 – As part of an approach to drugs based on harm reduction, and resulting from years of preparatory work by the City of Brussels with the support of the Brussels Capital Region, the Gate Supervised Drug Consumption Facility (SDCF) opened on 5 May in Brussels.

It will be Belgium’s second SDCF after that of Liège, which opened in 2018 (see box below). There are currently about 100 SDCFs in Europe1. (EFUS - European Forum for Urban Security, Frankreich, 22.05.2022)

https://efus.eu/topics/drugs/drogue-ouverture-historique-dune-salle-de-consommation-a-moindre-risque-a-bruxelles/

EMCDDA webinar: Drug consumption rooms in Europe (02.06.2022) - Video

Objective: The main objective of this webinar is to provide an overview of the different types of drug consumptions rooms (DCRs) in Europe. It will describe the challenges and current reality, as well as look towards the future and consider how this service could adapt and evolve. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 09.06.2022, Videom 01:34:49)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6ZI8IOS73c

Australien. Injecting room has not only saved lives, it has protected clients from violence

Violence is no stranger in the world of illicit drugs. But Sydney’s injection room gives its users a much-needed respite from it. (UNSW – University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australien, 03.06.2022)

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/business-law/injecting-room-has-not-only-saved-lives-it-has-protected-clients-violence

Acceptability of Overdose Prevention Sites in the Business Community in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Sherman SG, Rouhani S, White RH, Weicker N, Morris M, Schneider K, Park JN, Barry C. 

J Urban Health. 2022 May 24:1–10. doi: 10.1007/s11524-022-00647-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35610474; PMCID: PMC9129898.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9129898/

Drug Consumption Rooms and Public Health Policy: Perspectives of Scottish Strategic Decision-Makers. 

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

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(11):6575. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116575 

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/11/6575/htm

Kanada. Expanding overdose prevention sites in Vancouver, Canada, has beneficial health impacts

To help combat the record-breaking rates of drug overdose deaths, Canada implemented 20 overdose prevention sites across British Columbia, with 5 in Vancouver. Overdose prevention sites are a type of supervised injection service that are less regimented and have fewer barriers than traditional supervised injection services. The researchers in this study investigated the impact of this implementation in Vancouver on health outcomes. (Recovera Research Institute, USA, Mai 2022)

https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/expanding-overdose-prevention-vancouver-canada-beneficial-health-impacts/

USA. California debates opening supervised sites for people to use drugs

Lawmakers in California are debating whether to open sites where people can inject or snort illegal drugs under the watchful gaze of a health care worker. These facilities are an effort to save lives as overdoses skyrocket across the country. (npd – National Public Radio, USA, 23.05.2022)

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/05/23/1099478640/california-safe-injection?t=1653297578927&t=1653582538357

The Importance of Federal Action Supporting Overdose-Prevention Centers. 

Naeem AH, Davis CS, Samuels EA. 

N Engl J Med. 2022 May 26;386(21):1965-1967. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2119764. Epub 2022 May 21. PMID: 35593724.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMp2119764

USA. Lawmakers consider expansion of supervised injection sites

New York lawmakers are weighing whether to create a regulatory framework that could lead to the expansion of supervised injection sites in the state amid a record number of overdose deaths over the last year. (nystateofpolitics.com, USA,11.05.2022)

https://nystateofpolitics.com/state-of-politics/new-york/ny-state-of-politics/2022/05/11/lawmakers-consider-expansion-of-supervised-injection-sites

Supervised consumption site enables cost savings by avoiding emergency services: a cost analysis study. 

Khair, S., Eastwood, C.A., Lu, M. et al.

Harm Reduct J 19, 32 (2022). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-022-00609-5

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-022-00609-5

The United Kingdom's first unsanctioned overdose prevention site; A proof-of-concept evaluation

Gillian W. Shorter, MagdalenaHarris, AndrewMcAuley, Kirsten MATrayner, AlexStevens

International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 104, June 2022, 103670

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395922000901

USA. Poll: New Yorkers support supervised injection sites 

Successful pilot programs in New York City have reversed hundreds of overdoses. (City&State New York, 26.04.2022)

https://www.cityandstateny.com/policy/2022/04/poll-new-yorkers-support-safe-injection-sites/366119/

Frankreich. Le “Mur de la Honte” - The Wall of Shame – Why crack consumption rooms are needed in Paris

In the last 3 decades marginalized people who use crack in Paris have been chased from one public park to the other by the police. Recently the police even built a wall to block the users from the rest of society. This new documentary explores the history of crack in Paris, and amplifies the voices of experts and residents who call for a better solution: safe crack consumption rooms. (Drugreporter, Ungarn, 28.04 2022)

https://drogriporter.hu/en/the-wall-of-shame/

Kanada. One year later: Overdose prevention site in New West

New Westminster overdose prevention site staff respond to 74 events in first year of operation. (New Westminster Record, Kanada, 10.04.2022)

https://www.newwestrecord.ca/local-news/one-year-later-overdose-prevention-site-in-new-west-5255262

Kanada. Toronto hospital becomes first in Ontario to provide supervised consumption services

Casey House in Toronto, Canada’s first and only hospice for people living with HIV, is now the first in Ontario to offer on-site supervised consumption as part of its health care.

“We see a supervised consumption service as a critical health care necessity,” said Casey House CEO, Joanne Simons.

Casey House’s supervised consumption services are open to registered clients 24-hours a day for the inpatient unit and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for outpatients. (Global News, Kanada, 05.04.2022)

https://globalnews.ca/news/8738023/toronto-hospital-first-provide-supervised-consumption-services/

Supervised Consumption Sites—A Tool for Reducing Risk of Overdose Deaths and Infectious Diseases in People Who Use Illicit Drugs. 

Rubin R, Suran M. 

JAMA. Published online April 06, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.4017

Https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2790981

Service utilization patterns and characteristics among clients of integrated supervised consumption sites in Toronto, Canada. 

Nassau T, Kolla G, Mason K, Hopkins S, Tookey P, McLean E, Werb D, Scheim A. 

Harm Reduct J. 2022 Mar 29;19(1):33. doi: 10.1186/s12954-022-00610-y. PMID: 35351160; PMCID: PMC8966307.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8966307/

EMCDDA. Spotlight on… Drug consumption rooms 

What are drug consumption rooms?

Drug consumption rooms, sometimes known as supervised injecting facilities, are fixed or mobile spaces in which people who inject drugs are provided with sterile injection equipment and can use illicit drugs under the supervision of trained staff. In some countries, consumption rooms also provide a space and equipment to allow non-injecting routes of administration, for example for crack cocaine smokers. Drug consumption rooms exist in several European countries and are usually located in areas where there is an open drug scene and injecting in public places is common. Their primary goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality by providing a safer environment for drug use and training clients in safer forms of drug use. Providing a conduit to other care services and reducing public nuisance may also be an explicit objective. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 24.02.2022)

https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/spotlights/drug-consumption-rooms_en

Community perspectives on supervised consumption sites: Insights from four U.S. counties deeply affected by opioids

Taylor, Jirka et al.

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 131, 108397 

https://www.journalofsubstanceabusetreatment.com/article/S0740-5472(21)00123-9/fulltext

Kanada. Vancouver overdose prevention society finds new home for drug consumption site

Plan to build $850,000 prototype drug inhalation facility never got off ground. (vancouverisawesome.com, Kanada, 04.03.2022)

https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/local-news/vancouver-overdose-prevention-society-finds-new-home-for-drug-consumption-site-fentanyl-heroin-5128063

Impact of an overdose reversal program in the context of a safe consumption site in Northern Mexico

DavidGoodman-Meza, SaidSlim, LourdesAngulo, PabloGonzales-Nieto, Mary C.Cambou, AlejandraLoera, SteveShoptaw, JaimeArredondo

Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, Volume 2, March 2022, doi.org/10.1016/j.dadr.2021.100021

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772724621000214