amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, released an issue brief on how supervised consumption services (SCS) — a public health intervention that provide a hygienic space for people to use illicit drugs under the supervision of trained staff — may help reduce the risk of HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission, prevent overdose fatalities, and connect PWUD with addiction treatment and other social services. Key points from the issue brief include:
- People who inject drugs account for 11% of all men and 23% of all women living with HIV, but many lack access to sterile injection equipment to keep them from acquiring HIV. The vast majority of Hepatitis C (HCV) cases in the U.S. are also associated with injection drug use.
- The absence of private, secure, and hygienic spaces often drives people who inject drugs to do so in public, with discarded syringes posing a health hazard, and overdose fatalities increasingly occur in bathrooms in fast food restaurants, hospitals, public libraries, and churches.
- Supervised consumption services (SCS) provide a hygienic space for people to use illicit drugs under the supervision of trained staff. SCS are designed to reduce the risk of HIV/HCV transmission, prevent overdose fatalities, and connect people who use drugs with addiction treatment and other social services.
- Research has shown that SCS are associated with greater access to medical and social services and reduced public drug use. Moreover, there are no persuasive data to suggest that SCS increase drug use or the frequency of injecting, or that they result in higher rates of local drug-related crimes.
Read the full brief to learn more.