While the future of Vancouver's supervised injection site, Insite, is still up in the air with the case coming in front of the Supreme Court of Canada this summer, a new report compiled by a group Canadian scientists reveals that the site has helped reduce the number of fatal overdoses in the city by more than 35 percent.
Researchers from Urban Health Research Initiative, the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and St. Paul's Hospital collected data regarding every drug-related overdose death in the city during 2001 and 2005 and then tracked the location of where the death occurred with respect to the distance from the safe-injection site.
The researchers found that of the total 290 overdose deaths in the city, 31 percent had occurred near the facility. The mortality rate fell by more than 35 percent within the 500-metre radius of the site since it opened in 2003.
"Our results suggest that (safe-injection facilities) are an effective intervention to reduce community overdose mortality in Canada and in other cities internationally and should be considered for assessment particularly in communities with high levels of injection drug use", the researchers wrote in their study which has been published in the journal, The Lancet