Free Essay Example - Safe Injection Sites

Published: 2023-10-09
Free Essay Example - Safe Injection Sites
Essay type:  Argumentative essays
Categories:  Statistics Drug Community health Nursing care
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1301 words
11 min read

Safe Injection Sites, also called Supervised Injection Sites (SISs), are supervised facilities legally sanctioned to minimize the health and public order problems that arise from illegal rug injection. The purpose of these injection sites is to provide a safe and stress-free environment for the consumption of pre-obtained drugs. They ensure quality hygiene and reduce the risk conditions of drug use. The main aim of SISs is to reduce public disorder and promote public safety, lower overdose mortality and morbidity, lower the rate of transmission of blood-borne illnesses, and improve access to vital social services and health facilities. Each Safe Injection Site (SIS) has its own rules and regulations. However, SISs are widely controversial and raise many debatable questions in different parts of the world. Those opposing the setting of Supervised Injection Sites suggest that they promote or condone the use of drugs and make drug users gather in a single neighborhood, thus disrupting the general community. These opposers argue that the SISs limit other drug addicts from accessing treatment programs for drug addiction. Away from the cons, this paper targets to discuss the pros of setting up clinics with Safe Injection Sites. This work is an evidence-based paper and therefore, will use statistical information to support the arguments.

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Pros of Safe Injection Sites (SISs)

Harmful Behavior Reduction

From information obtained from a Supervised Injection Site named 'Insite,' the introduction of an SIS reduced the instances of the occurrence of harmful behaviors related to drug use. At one time, Insite recorded that 75% of its clients had changes in their injecting behavior after using their services. In another study, Insite recorded that 23% of its clients had quit drug injection by the end of the study. In comparison, 57% of individuals in the injection site had joined drug addiction treatment programs (Wood et al., 2013). Also, less risky sexual behaviors got reported by Insite clients after monitoring. For individuals who had regular sexual partners, 25% of them used condoms before they began injecting under the monitoring of Insite, unlike 33% two years after the opening of Insite. Most clients who visit European SISs report a consistent condom use when having sexual pleasure with their partners after using the SISs.

Client Safety

Many studies have shown that individuals who visit SISs feel safer while injecting than those who inject in other private or public places (Wood et al., 2013). Female respondents in most studies supported the idea that they fall at risk of being taken advantage of when injecting in a public place. Other study respondents have complained of being attacked and losing drugs and money while injecting at public places. Others complain of physical assault and threats if they fail to share drugs. Individuals who inject in SISs have a reduced risk of facing violence, and in addition to this, they have no fear of arrest while injecting. This lack of fear ensures that the culprits take adequate time while injecting, reducing the problems associated with rushed injecting. In another study, clients reported that if they doubt the nature and quality of their drugs, they would prefer injecting at an SIS (Wood et al., 2013).

Nursing Care

The nursing services offered to SIS clients include education on safer injecting practices, overdose intervention, abscesses care, and other infections related to injection, psychosocial support, and other service referrals (Knopf, 2017). Individuals who visited SISs appreciated that they could access all the mentioned nursing services under one roof. Those individuals who got exposed to an SIS nurse advocated that it was difficult to seek other nursing services elsewhere (Knopf, 2017). According to Small et al., 94% of clients at Insite sought non-medical services, while only 44% sought medical services. Another 24% stated that they would not have access to any of the services if they had not been attached to Insite.

In another setting, clients at the Dr. Peter Center stated that they felt free to discuss their drug use experiences without worrying. The clients admitted that access to nursing care without the chaos of hidden drug use and withdrawal stabilized their lives and had a positive effect on the ability to adhere to regimens on HIV medication. From many people, Insite, Dr. Peter Center, among other SISs, was a 'refuge' or a 'safe haven' for drug addicts (Knopf, 2017). From their interaction with SISs staff, they reported a sense of empowerment and social cohesion. The individuals described their relationships as trustworthy and non-judgmental. These kinds of relationships enabled them to have open conversations concerning their drug use experiences and health. Also, they facilitated timely care and link to other social and health services.

Education on Safer Injection

A study conducted on clients who visited the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Center, 29% of the individuals reported a history of problems related to injecting, disease, or injury. Some of the injuries sustained by these individuals included bruising and scarring, hand and feet swelling, infections of the skin, thrombosis, endocarditis, and Septicaemia (Kennedy & Kerr, 2017). The nurses offered excellent guidance on right injecting methods that enabled clients to reduce injection-related diseases and physical injuries from the drug culprits. In a study on Insite clients, above 40% of the individuals had gotten an education on safer injecting techniques from staff. Some clients reported that they continued to use the prescribed injection methods even outside the SIS and also advanced their knowledge to others. The clients who admitted assistance on injection said that they later became independent and could perform the injection. According to Kennedy and Kerr (2017), those individuals who accessed SISs minimized the chances of needle sharing.


SISs, as mentioned earlier, help in the prevention of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and HCV. Through this prevention, the health care system gets relieved of the burden of extensive lifetime costs relating to the infections mentioned above. In a study at Insite, there was evidence of between $2.85 and $8.55 million on savings generated from HIV and HCV prevention annually. In another different research, $17.6 million on average got saved each year on medical expenses. All the savings indicated above surpass Insite's annual cost of operation, which is $3 million only (Kennedy & Kerr, 2017).

Improved Overdose Care Access

Referring to Insite, Milloy et al. (2012) stated that staff at this Safe Injection Site could intervene to two to 13 potentially dangerous overdoses per annum on average. Studies have shown that individuals who visited SISs had minimal chances of experiencing fatal overdoses because they received close monitoring of their injection practices (Milloy et al., 2012). After the opening of SISs in Europe, there was a significant decrease in overdose fatalities ranging between one and 36 per 10,000 visits. SISs provide a serene environment for individuals to inject without the risk of overdosing. In case of an overdose, medical staff at Insite and other SISs reacted swiftly to avert incidences of demise.


SISs are crucial to every drug addict as they offer a safer environment free of any public exposure. Also, individuals in SISs get close monitoring; hence they inject in a controlled manner. This paper is just a brief description of the benefits that accrue to clients who visit SISs. The study uses statistical evidence from popular SISs to convey the idea clearly to the reader. Any future research related to this topic will get essential support from this piece of work.


Kennedy, M. C., & Kerr, T. (2017). Overdose Prevention in the United States: A Call for Supervised Injection Sites. American Journal of Public Health, 107(1), 42-43. doi:10.2105/ajph.2016.303523

Knopf, A. (2017). Supervised injection sites can bring better health to drug users. Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 29(34), 3-5. doi:10.1002/adaw.31690

Milloy, M., Kerr, T., Tyndall, M., Montaner, J., & Wood, E. (2012). Findings from the scientific evaluation of Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection facility. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e508452013-001

Zlotorzynska, M., Wood, E., Montaner, J. S., & Kerr, T. (2013). Supervised injection sites: Prejudice should not trump evidence of benefit. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 185(15), 1303-1304. doi:10.1503/cmaj.130927

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