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Funding of Safe Injection Sites by the Canadian Government


Funding of Safe Injection Sites by the Canadian Government

Safe injection sites are facilities that help to reduce harm where addicted drug users can safely use the drugs at the watch of professionals. The whole idea about these facilities is that when they permit drug addicts to inject their drugs in a medically controlled site, the probability of death caused by an overdose is lessened. The idea of the sites has met different reactions from people who support it and others who are against it. The supporters believe that these sites offer medical regulation to drug users and help to prevent the spread of diseases that arise through the sharing of needles and offer a safer injection process. With the safe injection site, the drug users who will be using the illegitimate injectable drugs despite the regulations around them, they can use them in a safe surrounding. People who are against this idea argue that the government should support an illegal idea and that the sites cause more harm than good by encouraging drug addicts to continue injecting drugs. The Canadian government should fund safe injection sites because these sites educate the users on the dangers of using drugs, safer drug use practices, and also offer recommendations to the treatment of drugs and recovery.

Canada has had a history of health-related and social harms that are connected to injection drug use. Responding to this, towns throughout the country have instigated harm reduction policies and programs. Canada has moral and legal responsibilities that oblige it to respond bravely to the plight of these people that face serious health risks by the use of drug injection to reduce danger. Among the solutions that have been suggested is the development of safe injection facilities. Nevertheless, the provision for the reduction of harm methodologies in Canada creates different mixed reactions and has been contested even in court. The supporters of safe injection sites maintain that these facilities save lives because research shows that since the introduction of the sites, drug overdose has reduced. The facilities serve as a bridge to detox and treatment in that they use a four-pillar methodology being harm reduction, prevention, treatment, and enforcement (Kerr et al. 1). They believe that safe injection sites are the first step to recovery and more to that is that nobody dies in the sites. The sites offer a clean environment for the drug users and also allow them to connect to other services such as treatment for drug-related inflammation or dental care. Supporters maintain that safe injection sites should be viewed as a place where drug addiction can also be treated. The facilities benefit public health and the broader society in the sense that they lead to a decrease in drug-related crime and also positively influence the drug users to quit. They have also contributed to the reduction of public injections in the streets, and doorways. Dangerous behaviors such as the sharing of needles, HIV infections have also declined with the introduction of these sites. In Vancouver research shows that there have been less discarded needles in the neighboring streets.

The people who argue that the sites should be closed maintain that the government should not facilitate the use of drugs. Despite the sites having the goal of reducing crime, some people are still not comfortable with any facility that allows addicts to inject drugs and defy the law. They maintain that governments should not aid illegal, risky activities (Stueck 1). They maintain that the money used on these facilities should be used on cure and the government’s funding for the safe injection facilities conveys the wrong message to the younger generation who would be thinking of using drugs. Another argument is that safe injection sites do not do anything to prevent the use of drugs or help drug addicts. Other arguments are that the safe injection sites attract drug traders and that public wellbeing stresses that illegitimate drugs should be firmly controlled. Critics argue that giving addicted persons a comfortable spot to inject themselves with illegal drugs encourages the use of more.

 Insite is a safe injection site in Vancouver which got an exception from “Canada’s controlled drugs and substances act from health Canada”. At some point, the federal administration failed to prolong their exception and when the Insite followers went to court, they were allowed to operate the site on health grounds.  This facility is a medical facility run by professionals who connect users to addiction services, counseling, and other resources. Over the years the Canadian officials have embraced the idea of safe injection sites and several sites have been opened throughout the cities (Stueck 1). The main focus and aim for these sites are to prevent people from dying and getting them out of the streets where in case of an overdose they have no one to keep an eye on them and this has kept the addicts alive. Researchers say that this is a smart approach because of their harm-reduction strategies and the impact these facilities have made on the community. Despite this, the government is not willing to use the taxpayer’s money to find safe injection sites or agree to the full decriminalization of illicit drugs. Most of the Canadians and some of the leaders support the idea of decriminalization of drugs but the government is not up for it.

Safe injection site assessments in Canada have provided broad evidence of the positive impact of this form of health intervention. Research has shown that safe injection sites attract and keep their target population which includes people who inject drugs and are homeless, and those who engage in drug practices that are connected to a heightened mortality and morbidity risks such as public injection (Kerr et al 1). There has been an increased acceptance of safe injection sites resulting from the overdose disasters and political alterations in Canada which have steered to the fast increase of efforts to increase safe injection sites around the country. Federal legislation should be amended to make these services and sites better. However, in areas such as Vancouver, accessing facilities such as safe injection sites has increased but the ongoing overdose crisis shows that something more had to be done. Safe injection sites should be extended to new settings such as hospitals to be able to maximize the opportunities for drug users to reduce harm and health inequalities.

Funding for safe injection sites could result in more facilities being opened and this will reduce the deaths caused by drug injection overdoses. The sites offer other treatment and counseling services which eventually lead to drug addicts quitting their addictive behavior. There will be enough facilities for every addict to inject themselves from which will reduce the addicts on the streets and prevent them from dying. Safe injection sites create a path and a possibility for drug injecting addicts to reduce their use and eventually stop injecting the drugs. The Canadian government should fund these sites because drug injection addiction can be treated through them.









Works Cited

Kerr, Thomas, et al. "Supervised injection facilities in Canada: past, present, and future." Harm

reduction journal 14.1 (2017): 1-9.

Stueck, Wendy. "The arguments for and against Vancouver’s supervised injection site." The

Globe and Mail (2011).


1208 Words  4 Pages
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