Navigating the future of supervised consumption research and intervention: European and North American experiences
More than two decades of evidence has documented the critical role of supervised drug consumption services in reducing drug-related risk and harms, including syringe-sharing, public injecting, and overdose mortality, and proven critical to their expansion across North America and Europe. The ongoing expansion of supervised drug consumption services provides important opportunities for new research directions that examine a wider range of outcomes, as well as identify opportunities to adapt these interventions to evolving drug epidemics and social conditions. Drawing on social sciences research from Europe and North American, this structured session will address the following aims: (1) To explore how the operational contexts of supervised drug consumption services address a wider range of social outcomes, including the social inclusion of diverse populations of people who use drugs; (2) To examine how supervised drug consumption services can be positioned within the larger social welfare state; and (3) To explore limitations of current approaches to supervised drug consumption services and re-imagine how they can be adapted – alone or in combination with other harm reduction interventions – to maximize their impact of health and well-being. This structured session contends that the advancement of supervised drug consumption services, including their adaptation to changing drug and social dynamics, will require social sciences research attentive to these dynamics and the broader function of these interventions in the everyday lives of people who use drugs.