“Beyond Safer Injecting”—Health and Social Needs and Acceptance of Support among Clients of a Supervised Injecting FacilityVendula Belackova, Edmund Silins, Allison M. Salmon, Marianne Jauncey, Carolyn A. Day (2019)
Health and social issues in aging populations of people who inject drugs (PWID) tend to aggregate, despite risky injecting practices decreasing with age. Identifying needs and avenues of support is becoming increasingly important. We described the health and social situation among clients of a long-running supervised injecting facility (SIF) in Sydney, Australia. An interviewer-administered survey (n = 182) assessed current housing status, employment, physical and mental health, incarceration history, drug use, engagement in drug treatment, health service utilization, and willingness to accept support. Results were compared to the information provided at initial visit. Up to half of the participants transitioned between lower- and higher-risk health and social indicators over time. Willingness to accept support was greatest amongst those with higher self-perceived need. Support for mental health was a low priority, despite the high self-reporting of mental health issues. SIF clients are open to support for health and social issues, despite ongoing active drug use. Lower-threshold services such as SIFs are well-positioned to recognize and respond to deteriorating health and social issues for PWID. Facilitating care and treatment remains a challenge when the services to which people are being referred are higher-threshold with a more rigid approach.
“Beyond Safer Injecting”—Health and Social Needs and Acceptance of Support among Clients of a Supervised Injecting Facility