Bulletin no. 22: Supervised injecting facilities: What the literature tells us

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Author: Melissa de Vel-Palumbo, Francis Matthew-Simmons, Marian Shanahan, Alison Ritter

Resource Type: DPMP Bulletins

Key points
  • Supervised Injecting Facilities (SIFs) are a well-known, and at times controversial public policy measure to reduce the harms associated with injecting drug use
  • A substantial amount of literature has been published on SIFs
  • We located 134 papers and reports that provided reviews, outcome studies, economic evaluations, policy analyses and descriptions of SIF from across the globe
  • The annotated bibliography provides the details of these papers
  • Overall, the research indicates some positive outcomes from SIFs in relation to:
    • Reductions in overdose
    • Less risky injecting practices
    • Improved access to drug treatment, health and welfare services
    • Improvements in public amenity
    • Reductions in crime
  • However, the majority of evidence comes largely from two sites (Sydney and Vancouver), and effectiveness research has been methodologically limited
  • SIFs remain politically contentious, despite the evidence base