Integrated Supervised Injection Services Evaluation in Toronto, Ontario
Supervised injection services (SIS) have been demonstrated to reduce overdose fatalities and infectious disease risks among people who inject drugs (PWID), while facilitating access to substance use treatment. In response to Canada’s opioid overdose crisis, SIS are expanding across the country. In Ontario, recently-opened SIS are integrated within existing healthcare agencies, with the goal of promoting access to services that address the health and social needs of PWID.
While the evidence base for stand-alone SIS models is strong, research on the effectiveness of integrated models such as those being implemented in Ontario is underdeveloped.
It is believed that the integration of SIS within community health agencies can facilitate engagement of PWID with the continuum of services they offer, including primary care, counselling, mental health, health promotion, and employment and housing supports. Further, feasibility research has suggested these models are preferable to standalone models in settings like Toronto where drug use is relatively geographically dispersed.
Drawing on a longitudinal cohort of PWID (including SIS users and non-users) and administrative data linkages, the CDPE will be evaluating the uptake and impacts of three integrated SIS in Toronto, at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (Queen West site), South Riverdale Community Health Centre, and The Works at Toronto Public Health. The study is being conducted in partnership with the integrated SIS and peer advisors/research associates.
This research will generate information on the effectiveness of integrated SIS, ongoing barriers to access, and opportunities to optimize health services and outcomes for PWID.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use | Ontario HIV Treatment Network | Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care | Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre | Public Health Ontario | Sandy Hill Community Health Centre | South Riverdale Community Health Centre | The Works | Toronto Public Health | University of Ottawa
This commentary emphasizes the need for research on supervised injection services to move from asking whether such services are effective to asking whether, how, and under what conditions their benefits can be maximized.View
View Pivot Legal Society’s map of supervised consumption and overdose prevention sites across Canada.View
Read the report by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, providing guidelines to implementing supervised consumption sites based on scientific evidence, policies, and procedures for current sites in British Columbia.View
Read the systematic review on the health and community impacts of supervised consumption facilities by Mary Clare Kennedy, Mohammad Karamouzian, and Thomas Kerr.View
View information on the SIS at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (Queen West site).View