Public Health and Public Order Outcomes Associated with Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities: a Systematic Review

Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2017 Oct;14(5):161-183. doi: 10.1007/s11904-017-0363-y.


Purpose of review: Supervised drug consumption facilities (SCFs) have increasingly been implemented in response to public health and public order concerns associated with illicit drug use. We systematically reviewed the literature investigating the health and community impacts of SCFs.

Recent findings: Consistent evidence demonstrates that SCFs mitigate overdose-related harms and unsafe drug use behaviours, as well as facilitate uptake of addiction treatment and other health services among people who use drugs (PWUD). Further, SCFs have been associated with improvements in public order without increasing drug-related crime. SCFs have also been shown to be cost-effective. This systematic review suggests that SCFs are effectively meeting their primary public health and order objectives and therefore supports their role within a continuum of services for PWUD. Additional studies are needed to better understand the potential long-term health impacts of SCFs and how innovations in SCF programming may help to optimize the effectiveness of this intervention.

Keywords: Harm reduction; Illicit drug use; Supervised drug consumption facilities; Supervised injection facilities; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Overdose / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Health*
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / standards*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*

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