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What are supervised consumption services?

Supervised consumption services are interventions that provide a safe and hygienic environment where people can use pre-obtained illicit drugs under the supervision of trained staff (Bayoumi et al., 2012). They are a part of a wider harm reduction strategy to reduce the negative impacts of drug use. These services help to build trusting relationships between service providers and people who use drugs. As a result, people who access SCS will be more willing and will have more opportunities to engage in other health and social services. 

SCS were originally established in the Netherlands (1970s), Switzerland (1980s) and Germany (1994). Currently, there are legal supervised consumption services in Australia, Canada, Luxembourg, Spain, France, and Austria. In Canada, these services came into effect in response to an HIV and opioid overdose epidemic in Vancouver and British Columbia in the 1990s. Opened in 2003, (located in Vancouver), Insite is North America’s first legally sanctioned supervised consumption service (Calgary Coalition on Supervised Consumption, 2017).

For more information on supervised consumption services and community engagement opportunities, please email

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For more information on supervised consumption services, click here