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What is a Supervised Injection Facility?

On 15 December 2015 the Government approved the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2017 to allow for supervised injecting facilities and commenced the process of enacting this bill into legislation.

The supervised injecting facility aims to:

• reduce drug-related overdose deaths
• reduce the risks of disease transmission through shared needles
• reduce public health risks such as needle-stick injuries and
• connect the most vulnerable and marginalised people who use drugs with treatment services and other health and social services.

The facilities typically consist of a reception area, a drug consumption area and a recovery area. In addition, they usually provide an area where people can receive support from relevant health services and support groups to help improve their health and social circumstances. The exterior of a SIF looks like any other health or social care premises. There are now approximately 90 of these facilities worldwide, in Europe, Canada, and Australia. There is significant evidence gathered from these facilities of their benefits to people who use drugs and the wider society.

Typically, supervised injecting facilities provide people who use drugs with sterile injecting equipment; counselling services before and after drug consumption; emergency response in the event of overdose; and primary medical care.