Policy brief – how supervised consumption sites can save lives and improve local communities

At the 10th International Conference on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users, held in Glasgow, Scotland, international policymakers gathered to discuss the global overdose crisis and the role that supervised consumption sites can play in helping end these needless and preventable deaths.


Contents in more detail 


The policy brief provides the latest evidence and recommendations for supervised consumption sites, which are also known as drug consumption rooms, safe consumption rooms, overdose prevention sites, safer injection sites, drug consumption facilities, and medically supervised injection centres.

The brief explores:

Evidence of success:

How supervised consumption sites;

  • prevent overdose and save lives
  • Minimise transmission of BBVs
  • Connect people with supporting services
  • Reduce public drug use and litter


Evaluation models:

  • Evaluation methods from France and Melbourne, Australia 
  • European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) advice and guidance on evaluation

Global case studies:

  • Melbourne, Australia: incorporating wrap-around care and peer support
  • Zürich, Switzerland: multi-site alleviates pressure on one service
  • Barcelona, Spain: specifically for women and gender diverse people


Implementation considerations:

  • Legal framework considerations and examples
  • Public buy-in checklist
  • Police support
  • Practical considerations such as data collection, layout, and supporting services