Home > Supervised consumption sites: a nuanced assessment of the causal evidence.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2019) Supervised consumption sites: a nuanced assessment of the causal evidence. Drug and Alcohol Findings Research Analysis 5 p.

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Summary: Drug consumption rooms (also known as supervised consumption sites) provide hygienic and supervised spaces for people to inject or otherwise consume illicit drugs. They operate in more than 10 countries, and have mostly emerged as ‘bottom-up’ responses to the harms experienced by people who inject drugs, including HIV and overdose deaths.


Efforts to summarise the evidence base have tended to reach strongly positive conclusions about drug consumption rooms. However, there is limited evidence demonstrating a ‘cause and effect’ relationship between drug consumption rooms and observed positive outcomes.


Key points from summary and commentary

  • Opinions vary about how much favourable evidence should accumulate before drug consumption rooms are implemented in countries yet to have tried this strategy.
  • Although the published literature is large and almost unanimous in its support for drug consumption rooms, its methodological limitations prevent positive outcomes being directly attributed to drug consumption rooms, and, in a point that tends to be overlooked, do not help societies decide how to optimise the design of facilities to maximise any life-saving benefits.
Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Opioid
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Date:September 2019
Pages:5 p.
Corporate Creators:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Subjects:J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health services, substance use research
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
L Social psychology and related concepts > Physical context or place > Safe spaces for drug users (injecting centre / consumption rooms)
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use > Harm reduction policy
R Research > Research outcome > Policy implications of research
T Demographic characteristics > Person who injects drugs (Intravenous / injecting)

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