Monday, January 7, 2019

New report questions effectiveness of supervised drug consumption facilities

From the Washington Post:
(E)xisting research does not establish that drug users who access SDCFs are less likely to die of an overdose over time, or that opening an SDCF lowers a community’s rate of drug overdose fatalities...

The report found that many people use SDCFs intermittently, but do not adopt the safer use practices from SDCFs when using outside of it. An individual who injects heroin in the SDCF one day may thus avoid a fatal overdose that particular day, but have one the next day outside the SDCF. More importantly, no one knows whether becoming an SDCF user leads to longer drug use careers than do other interventions (e.g., methadone maintenance). If by making injection drug use safer and more positive (e.g., being surrounded by supportive people), SDCFs even modestly reduce the likelihood of an individual stopping injection use in the next week, or month, or year, the benefit of lower risk SDCF drug use now can be canceled out by an increased number of drug use episodes later.

Read the complete article here. Read the underlying report here.