3. Denmark: A successful case study in community advocacy culminating in several sanctioned SIFs
Denmark’s SIF journey is unique. In 2011, a mobile SIF was established in Copenhagen without police or community intervention and the initiative culminated in the first legal SIF. Today Denmark has five permanent SIFs. The development of new and more user-friendly SIF’s however, has stopped. Learnings from the last decades of work in the field will be explored, and challenges discussed. Method Narrative synthesis based on learnings from work with SIFs in Denmark.
Throughout the last decades civil society has emphasised the need for SIF’s in Denmark. In 2011 a group of doctors, nurses and activists established Fixelancen, a mobile SIF in the centre of Copenhagen. Following this, SIFs have been established by the municipality in Copenhagen and other large cities in Denmark. There is still a need for smaller, mobile SIFs that can be close to where clients are at any given time. In 2020, a new mobile SIF (The New Fixelancen) was established through private funding and launched by Antidote. Part of Antidote’s work involves training people how to identify and respond to overdose when they are not in/near a SIF.
While Denmark has come a long way, there is still a need to design the models of future SIFs on the diverse needs of different groups of people who use drugs. This is not to say there is no need for large publicly run clinical models. They are just not enough. Antidote continues to work to establish a variety of SIFs throughout the country that address the diverse range of client needs.