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Study Finds that Supervised Injection Facilities Can Help People Quit Injecting
Research has shown that supervised injection facilities have led to an increase in the number of people seeking addiction treatment, but no study had looked at the link between these facilities and injection cessation—until now. Researchers at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia have found that these types of facilities, such as Vancouver’s Insite, help clients get treatment, which leads to a greater chance of abstaining from injection drug use for at least six months.
The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, analyzed 902 people who went to Insite between 2003 and 2006. During this time period, 95 people said they quit using injection drugs for at least six months. About 78 percent of the participants (74 people) who quit said they had recently been through treatment for their addiction.
The researchers also found that participants who entered treatment were more likely to regularly visit Inisite and on-site addiction counselors, and were also more likely to stop using injection drugs.
Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence and chair in AIDS research at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, said that supervised injection facilities have been shown to help people get treatment for addiction, reduce crime and HIV rates, and prevent overdoses. With this new study, they have also been found to help people stop injecting. He added that these findings should help prevent the Canadian federal government from shutting down Insite.
The study also found that Aboriginal participants were less likely to enter treatment, a finding that is consistent with previous studies. The researchers said this finding underscores the importance of communicating with Aboriginal drug users to develop strategies to engage them in treatment. Lorna Bird, a study co-author and President of the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, said Aboriginals need to be involved in the planning and delivery of treatment.
Source: Science Daily, Supervised Injection Facilities Can Help People Quit Drugs, Study Shows, September 13, 2010