Supervised inhalation is an important part of supervised consumption services

Supervised inhalation is an important part of supervised consumption services

Stacey Bourque, Em M. Pijl, Erin Mason, Jill Manning, Takara Motz (2019)

Supervised inhalation is an important part of supervised consumption services

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SETTING: The first regulated supervised inhalation site (safer smoking room) in North America has opened in Lethbridge, Alberta, as part of a supervised consumption site addressing all routes of consumption. When designing the service, we felt it was important to accommodate not just injection drug use but also inhalation because it is not the method of drug use that kills but the drug itself, all people who use drugs deserve service regardless of their mode of use, and people who use drugs should have the opportunity to use the method with the lowest risk.
INTERVENTION: We received approval from Health Canada to offer supervised inhalation services in addition to supervised injection services. Based on a European model, we worked with a local commercial heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) company to create rooms with ventilation systems that complied with Canadian health and safety regulations.
OUTCOME: People who use drugs by inhalation have repeatedly told us that they want to use indoors and will do so given the option. Since opening the supervised consumption service at the end of February 2018, the response has been overwhelming and both of the inhalation rooms are constantly in use.
IMPLICATIONS: Supervised inhalation services provide an alternative to public drug use and an opportunity for people who use drugs to engage with harm reduction services. Other supervised consumption services in Canada may also wish to pursue exemptions for this service.
In partnership with:
ISFF
FUAS
Correlation Network