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  • The Pros & Cons Of Supervised Injection Sites

    The Pros & Cons Of Supervised Injection Sites

    The goal of supervised and safe injection sites is to help prevent overdose deaths and manage the opioid crisis, a full-blown public health crisis. These sites are sometimes referred to as:

    • overdose prevention centers
    • ​drug consumption rooms
    • medically supervised injection centers
    • ​fix rooms

    To combat unsafe drug use, these supervised injection facilities provide a safe environment as well as naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversal drug that can treat patients and prevent fatal overdose.

    Although supervised injection sites are meant to help drug addiction and drug overdose, there are also some negative aspects of injection centers.

    The Pros Of Safe Injection Sites

    Injection sites can lower HIV infections, overdose mortality, and ambulance calls for treating overdoses. Safe injection facilities can also treat drug overdoses, which provides an alternative to the emergency room. 

    Harm Reduction Measures

    These safe injection sites provide harm reduction measures. One important measure includes safety with needle sharing. At an injection site, you will know that the instruments used are clean, never reused, and do not carry an infectious disease.

    In fact, a major positive of safe injection sites is preventing the spread of disease from a needle. This means you won’t catch HIV, hepatitis c, or other serious diseases.

    Many safe injection sites provide:

    • safe needles
    • overdose treatment
    • referrals to treatment programs, rehab programs, and other social services
    • ​medical supervision
    • ​safe environment
    • ​assistance 

    Safe Environments For Drug Use

    Proponents of safe injection sites claim that those who take drugs will take them anyway, but at least they can provide a safe environment for them. 

    It should be noted that the use of illicit drugs can be incredibly harmful and dangerous. Safe injection sites may seem counterproductive, but they do offer some positive options for drug addicts.

    The Cons Of Safe Injection Sites

    Although supervised injection sites can be helpful in some ways, they can also be harmful. Illegal drugs are unsafe and the goal should be to stop use. However, this isn’t a reality due to the chronic nature of addiction. That’s why safe injection sites try to help.

    Excuse For Drug Use

    The biggest con of safe injection sites is the fact that it may provide an excuse for some drug users. They can have easier access with their drug use which can help perpetuate a cycle of more substance abuse. 

    There are many opponents of safe injection sites. An injection drug is extremely dangerous and should not be administered. Those who do, however, should seek addiction treatment. 

    Illegal Under Federal Law

    On January 13, 2021, the United States Department of Justice released a bulletin stating that the Third Circuit ruled it a crime to open a supervised injection site. 

    Despite the pros and cons, the issue of safe injection sites may continue to be part of a worldwide conversation about injection drugs moving forward.

    Professional Addiction Treatment

    Although there is an ongoing debate about supervised injection sites, professional substance use treatment programs are available. If you or a loved one struggles with drug abuse, our healthcare professionals use a whole-person approach to address both mental health and addiction.

    To learn more about our treatment options, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on July 26, 2022
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