Safer drug consumption facilities?

Safer drug consumption facilities (SDCFs) are clean, hygienic environments where people can consume drugs, obtained elsewhere, under the supervision of trained health professionals. They offer a compassionate, person-centred service which focuses on reducing the harms associated with injecting drug use and helps people access appropriate services to meet their needs. By doing so, they are able to reach an extremely vulnerable group who often do not engage with our existing services.

These facilities typically consist of a reception area, a drug consumption area with injecting booths and, in some facilities, a drug inhalation room. In addition, they usually provide an area where clients can receive support from relevant services and peer groups, to help improve their health and social circumstances. The exterior of such facilities can look like any other health and social care premises.

Though these services are sometimes described in the media as ‘fix rooms’ or ‘shooting galleries’, we use the term ‘safer drug consumption facilities’ to denote that they are an official service, staffed by health professionals, with close links to other health and social care services.

There are now more than 90 of these facilities worldwide, in Europe, Canada, and Australia.

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