BENEFITS OF SUPERVISED CONSUMPTION SERVICES:
Medically supervised consumption services provide an entry-point to wrap around social supports, primary health care, and treatment.
Further, medically supervised consumption services reduce many of the risks and health care costs of unsafe drug use. The use of drugs in public places is associated with a major increase in all the known risks of drug use:
- Transmission of Hepatitis C and HIV
- Bacterial infections of the skin, blood stream, heart valves, and joints.
Sterile, safe places to consume drugs dramatically reduce these risks and provide opportunities to engage with people who use drugs.
Evidence from research tells us supervised consumption services lead to:
- Fewer deaths from overdose – To date, no one has died while using supervised consumption services in the world¹
- Increased uptake into primary care and treatment²
- Increased community safety – Supervised consumption services result in a decrease in public injecting or publicly discarded injecting equipment³
- Decreased neighborhood crime – Studies show that incidences such as thefts and vehicle break-ins tend to go down after supervised injection services are established⁴
In spring 2017 people in Lethbridge were surveyed about their experiences over the previous six months.
67% had injected in public
47% had witnessed needle sharing among their peers
24% had experienced one or more non-fatal overdoses
23% had unsafely disposed of syringes
25% had difficulty getting sterile syringes when needed – 50% cited operating hours as the main access barrier
72% typically use drugs three or more times per day
82% of those who inject drugs were willing to attend supervised injection services.
FINANCIAL COSTS OF THE STATUS QUO ON OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM SPENDING IN 2016:
Lifetime Hepatitis C Treatment: $64,694/ person
Lifetime Economic Loss of HIV: $1,300,000/ person
- Healthcare: $250,000/ person
- Labor Productivity: $670,000/ person
- Quality of Life: $380,000/ person
Emergency Department Visits: $200/ visit
South zone in Alberta has the highest number of ER visits for opiate poisoning by more than 24%
Serious skin, soft tissue, joint, bloodstream, and heart valve infections: $48,950 + physician costs