Safe injection sites are at risk of losing funding. Communities won’t only lose funding, lives will be lost. The hard truth is that it comes down to money, but money will be lost too if these harm reduction sites do not exist.
Provinces pay for the costs of addiction through the health care system, and through treatment and prevention programs. The system is overtaxed as it is and treatment and prevention programs only serve those willing to seek help. More can be done to reduce the strain on the system and reduce costs for those already caught in addiction.
The problem isn’t going away, it is only getting worse. The rise of fentanyl-laced street drugs coincides with a rise in overdoses. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid, incredibly dangerous for users and for those who are called to assist. Having a supervised site for intervenous drugs to be administered is a simple way to reduce harm to all.
Safe Injection Sites Serve To:
- Reduce ER visits
- Reduce hospitalization
- Reduce overdose situations
- Treat infections
- Reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C
- Help used needles to be disposed of properly
- Act as a referral system to health and social programs
- Help to ensure the safety of our First Responders
With staff on hand to assist in overdose situations, ER visits and hospitalization are reduced. Infections are treated and with clean needles available, there is a significate decrease in the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. All cost-saving measures to the province.
Below are two examples of harm reduction sites already in place:
Insite is a safe injection site in BC that was the first of its kind in North America. It opened its doors in 2003. It has much to offer in how a supervised environment drug injection site can benefit the community and the health care system.