Harm Reduction

Overdose Prevention Centres

Overdose Prevention Sites (OPCs) have different titles around the world, in some areas they are referred to as Drug Consumption Rooms (DCR), others Safer Injection Facilities (SIF) and Enhanced Harm Reduction Sites.

Where are they and what do they do?

No matter what they are named the evidence base that these centres reduce drug deaths and associated harms that come with public injecting drug use is overwhelming. An OPC is somewhere where someone who injects drugs can do so in safety and with supervision. Cities and countries across Europe and the world now offer OPCs, most recently a site opened in New York and within weeks it reported scores of overdoses had been reversed and ultimately lives saved.

Peter Krykant, Project Lead and activist

Cranstoun have long supported this intervention, before our Project Lead Peter Krykant joined Cranstoun he operated the first UK based OPC, located in Glasgow, and although this was an unsanctioned service it operated for ten months, supervising hundreds of injections and saving multiple lives. This only added to the international evidence base, no deaths have been recorded to date in any facility and the knock on impacts of these sites are beneficial to society as a whole.

Further beneficial impacts

Where sites have been long established in countries like Denmark, Australia, Canada and Switzerland to name a few, reports of less discarded equipment, less ambulance call outs, more people entering drug treatment, less blood borne virus transmission, less skin and soft tissue infections and less anti-social behaviours make the case for UK sites indisputable at a time we are experiencing record drug related deaths.

Our goal

As leaders and experts in harm reduction Cranstoun have developed a blue print to deliver OPCs which has full clinical oversight and would be monitored and evaluated by a leading academic team. Effectively excluded from support, many people who inject in public, semi-public or hidden areas die in terrible conditions in abandoned buildings, parks and alleyways. Our goal is to make these safe sites a reality across every country in the UK and to embed OPCs as a core part of our service offer. Our commitment is to empower people, and OPCs give us that opportunity, they are the ideal place to offer harm reduction advice on safer injecting practices, transition to smoking rather than injecting and many other options for people that traditional drug services cannot reach.

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Resources

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