Home > Overdose prevention centres, safe consumption sites, and drug consumption rooms: a rapid evidence review.

Shorter, Gillian W and McKenna-Plumley, Phoebe and Campbell, Kerry BD and Keemink, Jolie R and Scher, Benjamin D and Cutter, Stephen and Khadjesari, Zarnie and Stevens, Alex and Artenie, Adelina and Vickerman, Peter and Boland, Philip and Miller, Nicole M and Campbell, Anne (2023) Overdose prevention centres, safe consumption sites, and drug consumption rooms: a rapid evidence review. London: Drug Science.

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This rapid review on overdose prevention centres (OPCs) aims to collate and summarise existing evidence. It describes the impact of OPCs on individuals who use drugs, communities, and public health. OPCs are community facilities which provide a safe, hygienic space for people to consume their own drugs in the presence of trained individuals who can intervene if an overdose occurs. They are non-judgemental environments which facilitate and promote voluntary access to social, health, welfare, and drug treatment services.

This is to support decision making and understanding of service provision for health departments, potential providers, researchers, and elected officials. This document also covers some practical matters of running a service including day-to-day matters, costs, and any cost savings from their operation. We conclude with information on evaluation; services should be robustly evaluated. This review is largely based on existing resources provided by the International Network of Drug Consumption rooms who host a Zotero database of ~300 articles and resources, including linked papers identified through forward and backward searching of papers, and papers known to the author team. It is not a complete summary of the literature (any exclusions are unintentional), but it is the largest of its kind at present worldwide, with over 550 citations. We have not formally assessed the quality of research presented, and we encourage readers to access studies cited directly as part of their own critical appraisal. Whilst we designed this document in response to queries from those interested in OPCs in the UK, we hope it will have value to the international community. Authors of evidence (included and not) are warmly welcomed to contact the author team to continue the conversation.

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