Safe Injection Sites
Introduction: The implementation of safe injection sites in Health Care Institutions in the United States could improve health outcomes of people who inject drugs. Due to the opioid epidemic, there is a dire need for more resources and reduced stigma within the health care system. The current abstinence model is providing an ineffective approach to this epidemic. Drug abuse is a reality and we have an obligation in healthcare to treat drug abuse as a disease process. While there are some resources for addicts such as needle exchange programs and long-term rehabilitation facilities, it is necessary for the U.S. to bridge the gap between the two. Safe injection sites would allow people to safely inject with clean needles, under the direct supervision of clinical staff, who have been trained to identify overdoses and call EMS if transfer to the hospital is deemed necessary. This model would decrease the number of fatal overdoses due to opioid use and allow a segway into treatment programs. Objective: The purpose of the project is to advocate for the creation of more safe injection sites for people who inject drugs (PWID) and provide a safe space, clean materials, and accepting environment for PWID and reduce complications. Methods: The review of the literature identifies concrete data that describes the effectiveness of safe injection sites in other countries. This data includes information on decreasing opioid related deaths due to the implementation of safe injection facilities and providing resources to people who are currently using. The evidence in the journals supported morality behind harm reduction vs. abstinence models. Results: The results of the literature are in support of safe injection sites because they reduce drug related overdoses, and reduce incidences opioid related complications. Limitations/Discussions/Implications: The implications of this project are to support the creation of safe injection sites in communities where the opioid epidemic has hit the hardest to allow people with the materials and information needed to decrease the rate of opioid related deaths and overdoses as well as the risk of injection related infections and diseases.