Towards endemicity: A global perspective of the many variants of drug consumption rooms and service models in operation

In programme
Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 15:00 to 16:30
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This symposium will provide a global perspective on drug consumption rooms (DCRs) internationally. A key discussion point will be the different service models of supervised DCRs (or supervised injecting facilities - SIFs) in operation across four regions (the United Kingdom, North America, mainland Europe and Oceania). Clinical models typically have health professionals (e.g. nurses, doctors) involved in service provision, while peer-led models are run by people with shared lived experience with the clients attending services (i.e. people who have/or are currently using drugs). Many DCRs, irrespective of the model, have both health professionals and peers involved. There are advantages and disadvantages to both clinical and peer-led models, and no model is the ‘right’ model. Tensions often arise between wanting (and needing) to respond immediately to reduce harms and developing longer-term strategies that respond to local political needs.

This symposium will explore these tensions, and lessons learnt from service models to help inform effective strategies to facilitate additional DCRs opening internationally into the future. Service models for DCRs in Australia, Canada, Denmark and Scotland will be discussed including the local political context, drug markets and associated harms that influence decisions on choice of service model/s, as well as key achievements and challenges within these facilities.