Home > Assessing drug consumption rooms and longer term (5 year) impacts on community and clients.

Tran, Vincent and Reid, Sharon E and Roxburgh, Amanda and Day, Carolyn A (2021) Assessing drug consumption rooms and longer term (5 year) impacts on community and clients. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 14, pp. 4639-4647. https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S244720.

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Background: Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) and supervised injecting facilities (SIFs) provide a safe environment in which people who inject drugs (PWIDs) can inject under hygienic and supervised conditions. Numerous reviews have documented the benefits of these facilities; however, there is a lack of clarity surrounding their long-term effects.

Purpose: To conduct, with a systematic approach, a literature review, of published peer-reviewed literature assessing the long-term impacts of DCRs/SIFs.

Methods: A systematic search of the PubMed and Embase database was performed using the keywords: (“SUPERVISED” OR “SAFE*”) AND (“CONSUMPTION” OR “INJECT*” OR “SHOOTING”) AND (“FACILITY*” OR “ROOM*” OR “GALLERY*” OR “CENTRE*” OR “CENTER*” OR “SITE*”). Included studies were original articles reporting outcomes for five or more years and addressed at least one of the following client or community outcomes; (i) drug-related harms; (ii) access to substance use treatment and other health services; (iii) impact on local PWID population; (iv) impact on public drug use, drug-related crime and violence; and (v) local community attitudes to DCRs.

Results: Four publications met our inclusion criteria, addressing four of the five outcomes. Long-term data suggested that while the health of PWID naturally declined over time, DCRs/SIFs helped reduce injecting-related harms. The studies showed that DCRs/SIFs facilitate drug treatment, access to health services and cessation of drug injecting. Local residents and business owners reported less public drug use and public syringe disposal following the opening of a DCR/SIF.

Conclusion: Long-term evidence on DCRs/SIFs is consistent with established short-term research demonstrating the benefits of these facilities. A relative paucity of studies was identified, with most evidence originating from Sydney and Vancouver. The overall body of evidence would be improved by future studies following outcomes over longer periods and being undertaken in a variety of jurisdictions and models of DCRs/SIFs.

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