ICER has concluded that there is sufficient evidence demonstrating that supervised injection facilities (SIFs) prevent overdose deaths and reduce overall costs by preventing emergency room visits and hospitalization in populations that suffer high rates of overdose such as those with opioid use disorder. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that SIFs do not affect crime rates but may decrease public drug consumption.
“Before, during, and likely after Covid, the opioid epidemic has been destroying lives and communities,” said David Rind, ICER’s Chief Medical Officer. “Harm reduction is a key objective in managing the opioid epidemic, but even within that framework, many policy makers have hesitated to create sites where people can inject illegal drugs more safely. However, it appears that, to date, no one in the world has ever died of an overdose in a SIF. Beyond that, though, the evidence we reviewed suggests that SIFs actually prevent overdose deaths in the community rather than simply briefly delaying them, and these facilities also reduce expenditures on ambulance calls and hospitalizations. Policy makers should be aware that SIFs save lives and money.”
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