Vancouver Safe Injection Site Reduces Deaths

Posted on 4/30/2011 by meg

North America's first supervised injection facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is already demonstrating positive results. According to data gathered by the University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS from 300 coroner reports between 2001 and 2005, deaths due to illicit drug overdose has decreased by significantly since the facility opened its doors in September 2003.

During the period under review, no overdoses occurred in the facility and declined by 35% in the immediate surroundings, while deaths resulting from overdose declined by only 9% in the rest of Vancouver. Researchers ensured that factors such as changes in drug supply or purity were ruled out.
"This study provides the first unequivocal scientific evidence of the benefits of supervised injection facilities, and clearly demonstrates that facilities such as Insite are saving lives and playing a vital role in reducing the harms associated with illicit drug use," says co-author Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC-CfE and Chair of AIDS Research at the UBC Faculty of Medicine.”
If further research could produce similar results, an expansion of the current facility and the opening of new sites in other provinces and territories could save begin saving lives all over Canada. The Vancouver site is only a pilot project at this time. It has a capacity of 12 injection seats and monitors roughly 500 injections per day in an area that is home to about 5,000 injection drug users.

Although common sense is suggesting that these lives have only been saved because drug users are being supervised in a controlled environment, could it be that society is merely delaying what might be inevitable? Personally, I have always been on the fence with respect to harm reduction methods as they tend to enable the user. However, in extreme cases it sometimes seems like the only option in order to move the user to a place where they are ready to work on their addictions. In addition, safe injection sites prevent the spread of disease, such as HIV, which evidently reduces deaths.
“Established in 2003 in response to an HIV epidemic and escalating overdose death rates in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Insite enables injection drug users to consume pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of nurses. Counsellors are also available onsite to provide support and referrals to programs, including addiction treatment. An extensive scientific evaluation by UHRI researchers has previously demonstrated the facility's ability to reduce HIV risk behaviour, increase access to addiction treatment and primary health care services, and reduce healthcare costs in the long term.”
Despite its possible negative features, safe injection sites appear to do more good than harm generally. Besides, more and more research seems to be surfacing to support this fact. Nevertheless, the federal government clearly cannot see the value in such facilities as they have submitted an appeal against the BC Court ruling that deemed Insite as a health care facility under provincial jurisdiction that ensures an individual’s constitutional right to health through an essential health service. This hearing is set for May 12, 2011 at the Supreme Court of Canada.

What are your thoughts about safe injection sites?

Overdose Deaths Down 35 Percent After Opening of Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site


No Response to "Vancouver Safe Injection Site Reduces Deaths"

Leave A Reply


(+)-naloxone 6-acetylmorphine (6AM) Addiction Adenovirus Adolescence Adrenaline Aftershave Airplaning Alcohol Alcohol Poisoning Alcoholic Alcoholism Amphetamine Anaplasticity Anterior Cingulate Cortex Antibodies Anxiety Appetite Assault Attention Bath Salts Battery Acid Beer Belfast Benefits Benzoylmethylecgonine Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale Binge Drinking Biochemical Biological Clock Body Language Bone Fracture Bones Bonsai Grow Boot Camp Brain Brain Damage Break-Up British Columbia Bum Rushing Buprenorphine California Dreaming Canada Cancer Casino Cathinones Centers for Disease Control and Prevention China Choking Game Cigarette Circadian Rhythm Cirrhosis Citric Acid Cloud Nine Cocaine Cocaine Vaccine Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Common Cold Compulsivity Constitutional Right Content-Control Software Counselor Crack Craving Cues Death Decision-Making Demerol Dentist Dependence Dependency Depression Dilaudid Dopamine Dr. Drew Drain Cleaner Drug E-Cigarette Electric Shock Electronic Cigarette Emotion Employment Programs Engrams Exceptional Access Program (EAP) Facebook Facebook Addiction Failure Fainting Game Family Finances Flat Liner fMRI France Funky Chicken Gamblers Anonymous Gambling Genes Glutamate Government Grey Matter Hapten Harm Reduction Harvey Wallbanger Health Health Care Heart Attack Heart Disease Heroin Hillbilly Heroin HIV/AIDS Homelessness Hospitalization Human Rights Hunger Hurricane Charlie Hydrocodone Hydromorphone Hygiene Hypothalamus Illicit Drug Use Immune System Immune-Addiction Response Immunopharmacotherapy Implant Impulse Control Disorders Injection Injuries Instinct Internet Addiction Internet Gambling Intervention Ivory Wave Jay Leno Knockout Game Lantern Fuel Liver Long Term Depression Love Ludomania MADD Medial Prefrontal Cortex Medication Memories Memory Memory Traces Meperidine Mephedrone Mesolimbic Reward Pathway Methadone Methamphetamine Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) Methylone Mid-Brain Money Montreal Morphine Motivation Mouthwash mRNA Muscle Control Naloxone Naltrexone Narcotic Negative Consequences Neural Pathway Nicotine Nicotine Gum Nicotine Patch Noradrenalin Norepinephrine Obsessive-Compulsive Online Gambling Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Ontario Works (OW) Opiate Opioid Oral Hygiene Orbitofrontal Cortex Osteoporosis Ottawa Overdose Oxycodone Oxycontin Oxyneo Pain Pain Management Painkiller Paint Thinner Pass-out Game Pathological Computer Use Pathological Gambling Percocet Placebo Poker Pop Pre-frontal Cortex Prefrontal Cortex Prescription Drugs Propoxyphene Psychoactive Purple Dragon Rats Recovery Red Dove Rehab Rejection Relapse Relationships Research Research Validity Reward Reward and Punishment Risky Sexual Behavior RNA Safe Injection Site Salt Scarface Sensory Perception Serotonin Sex Addiction Shame Sleep/Wake Cycle Sleeper Hold Slot Machines Smoking Smoking-Cessation SNDRI Sobriety Social Assistance Social Media Social Security Soda Soda Addiction Sodium Sodium Ion Channel Space Monkey Speech Star Dust Striatum Subutex Successful Treatment Supreme Court of Canada Synapse Teenagers Tobacco Toll-Like receptor 4 (TLR4) Tooth Decay Tooth Enamel Tooth Erosion Treatment Trillium Drug Program Urine Sample Vaccine Vancouver Vanilla Sky Vaporize Vicodin Virus Vivitrol Welfare Wet Program White Lightning White Matter Wine Withdrawal

Health Blogs - Blog Rankings