Montreal will soon be home to four supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users. While the service is expected to cost $2.7 million annually, the Public Health Department said the health care system will ultimately come out the winner.

Richard Massé, the director of Montreal Public Health, argues that while the the experiment may seem expensive, the quality of life will improve for the people who live near the sites, and for the drug users.

Massé said the social gains will surpass the cost if people consider the complications associated with injection drug use — hepatitis C, HIV and overdoses, among others — and the risk of contamination associated with dirty needles left lying around.

"You gain more with these services than leaving people to deal with their health problems, not to mention the social costs for the population living nearby," said Massé.

A standard kit from a supervised injection site helps prevent the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C. Montreal Public Health officials say the province's health care system will benefit greatly from the four planned supervised injection sites. (Radio-Canada)

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