"In this population-based analysis, we showed that overdose mortality was reduced after the opening of a SIF. Reductions in overdose rates were most evident within the close vicinity of the facility—a 35% reduction in mortality was noted within 500 m of the facility after its opening. By contrast, overdose deaths in other areas of the city during the same period declined by only 9%. Consistent with earlier evidence showing that SIFs are not associated with increased drug injecting (panel),38,39 these findings indicate that such facilities are safe and effective public-health interventions, and should therefore be considered in settings with a high burden of overdose related to injection drug use.

"In both the primary and sensitivity analyses, we saw no significant reductions in overdose mortality further than 500 m from the SIF. This finding is not surprising, since over 70% of frequent SIF users reported living within four blocks of the facility. Although the facility operates at capacity with over 500 supervised injections per day on average,23 it is a pilot programme with only 12 injection seats in a neighbourhood with about 5000 injection drug users.40 Therefore, and since previous studies have shown that waiting times and travel distance to the facility are barriers to SIF use,41 larger reductions in community overdose mortality would probably require an expansion of SIF coverage."


Marshall, Brandon D L; Milloy, M-J; Wood, Evan; Montaner, Julio S G; Kerr, Thomas, "Reduction in overdose mortality after the opening of North America's first medically supervised safer injecting facility: a retrospective population-based study," The Lancet (London, United Kingdom: April 18, 2011) Volume 377, Issue 9775, pp. 1429-1437.