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February 7, 2019

Supervised Injection Facilities: Legal and Policy Reforms

Author Affiliations
  • 1O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
  • 2Center for Public Health Law and Policy, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Phoenix
JAMA. 2019;321(8):745-746. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0095

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 70 000 deaths from drug overdoses occurred in 2017, including prescription and illicit opioids, representing a 6-fold increase since 1999.1 Innovative harm-reduction solutions are imperative. Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) create safe places for drug injection, including overdose prevention, counseling, and treatment referral services. Supervised injection facilities neither provide illicit drugs nor do their personnel inject users. Supervised injection facilities are effective in reducing drug-related mortality, morbidity, and needle-borne infections. Yet their lawfulness remains uncertain. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently threatened criminal prosecution for SIF operators, medical personnel, and patrons.

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