French drug injection rooms cut emergency room visits and crime

Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons - cc-by-sa-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


French drug injection rooms cut emergency room visits and crime

13 May 2023
Boo Su-Lyn

A study shows that drug consumption rooms (DCR) in France – where people inject drugs under medical supervision in a safe space – improved health and public order.

The research by Marie Jauffret-Roustide, a sociologist and research fellow at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) in Paris, France, was a 12-month longitudinal cohort study enrolling 664 people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in four cities in France: two with a DCR (Paris and Strasbourg) and two without (Bordeaux and Marseille).

It was the first study in Europe and worldwide to evaluate the effectiveness of DCRs using a control group.

According to Jauffret-Roustide’s presentation at the Harm Reduction International Conference (HR23) in Melbourne, Australia, last April 18, the impact of DCRs was among the highest on emergency room (ER) visits, criminal activity, and injection practices in public spaces.

Compared to the control group in the two cities without DCRs, participants in the two cities with DCRs were 24 points lower in the frequency of ER visits in the last six months, 20 points lower in engaging in criminal activity in the last month, and 15 points lower in injection practices in public spaces.

Fewer abscesses in the last six months were also reported among participants living in cities with DCRs (11 points lower), fewer HIV/ Hepatitis C at-risk practices in the last month (10 points lower), and slightly fewer non-fatal overdoses in the last six months (2 points lower).