The U.S. government, via the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), awards a 4 year grant worth over $5 million dollars to New York University and Brown University for research on the health outcomes of safe injection sites, otherwise known as safe consumption sites. Safe injection sites encourage the on-site use of drugs under the supervision of staff who is available to offer advice on injection techniques and assist in the event an overdose. Those using the centers have access to supplies for drug use such as straws for snorting substances, syringes, alcohol wipes, as well as oxygen and naloxone, a medication to reverse an opioid overdose.
The research will take place at two centers operating in New York City and one that is set to open next year in Providence, Rhode Island. The study aims to interview and follow 1,000 individuals who use drugs to determine the impacts of the centers on the following: Overdoses, healthcare and criminal justice related costs, environmental impacts such as littering, the opening and closure of local businesses, crime, and whether the individuals who use these centers are more likely to seek substance use treatment.
This research will be part of the new Harm Reduction Research Network, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative to prevent overdose deaths. For information related to these sites, view the links in the reference section below.