Canadian Medical Association Journal (19 February 2002), 166(4):422-424

Although the authors agree that there is need for an expansion of treatment services in Canada, evidence from Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland suggests that a continuum of services that includes low-threshold services (e.g., safe injection facilities) constitutes the most effective means of reducing drug-related harm. No intervention, be it abstinence-based treatment, methadone treatment or safe injection facilities, can stand alone as a panacea. This article argues that safe injection facilities could serve a purposeful and complementary role in our continuum of services, and therefore a rigorous trial and evaluation of safe injection facilities is warranted.