Illicit Drug Use And Safe Injection Sites

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Illicit Drug Use and Safe Injection Sites: A Risk or a Benefit?
Heroin, methamphetamine, and opioids have been around for centuries and the use of these drugs is not a new phenomenon. The use of injection drugs causes individual’s serious harm and have placed large expenses on the health care system. “Heroin, cocaine and other drugs kill around 0.2 million people each year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people” (United Nations iii); Because of-these incidents harm reduction strategies have been put in place to create a safer and more educated population, but it has only been a start. ‘Safe injection sites’ has become a well talked about term in the last decade. The term itself refers to a physical place
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202). SIS provides an upstream approach thanks to investing in solving the current complications of IDUs. Overdoses are one of the high-risk problems when working with IDUs. Marshall et al. recorded that “[b]etween Jan 1, 2001, and Dec 31, 2005, 290 accidental illicit drug overdoses occurred within the city boundaries of Vancouver—an average of 1·1 per week” (1432). With SIS, the lack of understanding can first be addressed, followed by the precautions and knowledge the individuals can take away to prevent an overdose occurring personally or to another individual. Resources and support are available from the staff working at SIS, which would be lost without these injection sites creating relationships with health care workers. With the capability for healthcare providers to interact with this population, the ability to directly improve individual lives, and progress quality of life is researched and argued by authorities on the matter to occur.
Sites such as ‘Insight’ were originally opened because of the growing awareness surrounding the high rates of diseases intravenous drug use is known to cause, such as HIV and the Hepatitis C virus. With these sites leveraged as a harm reduction strategy, the purpose is to provide education about safe drug injection practices and the ways to prevent avoidable diseases and health threatening outcomes. SIS provides clean needles which reduce the risk of reusing needles
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