COVID-19 update: We are building on this study to better understand the pandemic’s impact on people who inject drugs in Toronto. Learn more
Supervised-injection services are spaces where people can inject illegal drugs, typically opiates or cocaine, under the supervision of trained health staff and without fear of arrest.
Research shows that stand-alone supervised-injection services work well to reduce public drug use and to prevent overdoses as well as risky injection practices. They also provide a pathway to help people who use drugs to access the drug treatment, health care and social services that they need.
While the evidence base for stand-alone supervised-injection services is strong, there is not as much research on the effectiveness on supervised-injection services that are integrated into existing health-care agencies. This model is being implemented in Ontario, with the goal of making it easier for clients to access the services that that they need.
How well do supervised-injection services work when they’re integrated within community health-care agencies?
To find out, we are surveying people in Toronto who inject drugs (including those who do and don’t use safe-injection services) at regular intervals, examining and linking administrative data sets that include information about people who inject drugs in Toronto, and tracking the use of three integrated safe-injection services in Toronto.
In the midst of changes to supervised-injection services across the province, our results will provide a strong evidence base to inform policy discussions at the provincial and regional level.