What is a supervised consumption service?
Supervised consumption services (also known as supervised injection services or SCS) are health services where individuals can attend to inject or consume illicit drugs in a hygienic environment under the supervision of trained staff, and have opportunities to engage in other health and social services. Individuals bring drugs they have obtained elsewhere with them to the SCS.
The goals of providing supervised consumption services are to:
- reduce overdose deaths
- connect people who use illicit drugs with health-care and treatment services
- reduce the transmission rate of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C
- reduce public drug use and discarded needles
How do supervised consumption services help?
Supervised consumption services and Overdose Prevention Services (OPS) can help reduce overdose deaths by providing a safer space for people to inject/consume drugs under the supervision of a trained professional. SCS and OPS staff can intervene in any medical emergencies, including overdoses.
SCS and OPS have been shown to connect people to other health services, including withdrawal management (detox), treatment and other social and health services.
Island Health's SCS and OPS service approach
Services are embedded in, or in proximity to, locations that already provide health and harm reduction services to people who use illicit drugs. Oversight supports are also offered in housing facilities where there are a high proportion of residents who use illicit drugs. Typically this oversight is only available to residents and guests, there is no public/non-resident access.
Learn more about Overdose Prevention Services and view Overdose Prevention and Supervised Consumption Locations.