Dr. Bouchard

Supervised injection Sites: Prejudice should not trump evidence of benefit

Insite opened in Vancouver in 2003 as a response to devastating twin epidemics of HIV and drug overdoses. A large body of peer-reviewed research, published in leading medical journals, has documented the various benefits of the program, including reductions in syringe sharing and fatal overdoses, and increased uptake of addiction treatment. Three separate studies have found Insite to be cost-effective. Meanwhile, the feared negative consequences of opening Insite have failed to materialize. Although concerns persist that supervised injection facilities attract crime and increase drug use, research undertaken in Vancouver has shown that such fears are unfounded. The results of several studies suggest that disorder associated with public injecting has declined. The rigorous scientific evaluation of Insite, as well as the evidence derived from the 90 other supervised injection facilities internationally, support increasing these services as part of a comprehensive response to drug use and its associated harms.

Keep up the good work Insite! Here in Saskatchewan I know physicians are campaigning hard for a similar site to be set up, but I'm doubtful it will happen anytime soon due to the enormous amount of red tape that is already required, with likely additional hoops to jump through being added by our current Conservative government.

Supervised injection Sites: Prejudice should not trump evidence of benefit