Recently, the nation’s largest organization of doctors, the American Medical Association (AMA) endorsed supervised injection facilities on a pilot basis as a method to respond to the opioid epidemic.
Supervised injection facilities (SIFs), sometimes also referred to as overdose prevention centers or safe drug consumption rooms are monitored spaces where people can use their own drugs while under medical supervision. Information from SIFs located outside the U.S. have shown that safe consumption rooms can reduce the number of overdose deaths, reduce transmission rates of infectious disease, and increase the number of people who have access to treatment for substance use disorders.
OSI-Baltimore supports addiction treatment approaches that are high quality, accessible to everyone and work to reduce the harms of addiction, while also reducing the stigma surrounding substance use. In May, OSI partnered with the New Day Campaign for discussion on safe injection facilities (SIFs) as a public health strategy. Panelists discussed the ways SIFs might fit into a broader harm reduction strategy. The group also discussed how public education, along with stigma reduction could make these sites less controversial which in turn could lead to making them possible.
Insite, one such program in Vancouver, has medically supervised over 2 million injections since its creation in 2003. In that time, it has seen zero overdose deaths.