What are the benefits?
Benefits for people who uses drugs
- Prevents death due to drug overdose through safe oversight of self-administration of street drugs and as well as immediate resuscitation by trained staff.
- Access to sterile equipment, related paraphernalia and hygienic conditions to reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses – including HIV and HCV -, as well as of bacterial infections through drug injecting, snorting or inhaling.
- Provides primary medical and mental health care to the most marginalised and underserved people who use drugs, including women and gender non-binary people, sex workers, migrants, and people experiencing homeless, among others.
- The relationships established by PWUD with DCR staff can lead towards transformations. Staff can alert, motivate and support people who use drugs to access other support services through voluntary referral, such as for the testing and treatment and/or enrolment on OST and/or ART
- DCR staff can guide and motivate people who use drugs on safer drug use practices and sexual health information.
- Women-only (trans women and non-binary inclusive) DCRs provide social-structural interventions that are more responsive to the specific needs of women who use drugs.
- Staff of DCRs act as a vital bridge for people who use drugs to reconnect socially, as well as providing emotional support and stress reduction to clients
- DCRs are associated with increased access by their users to drug dependence treatment.
Benefits to the local community in the surrounding neighborhood of s DCR
- Reduces drug use and drug dealing in public spaces.
- DCRs substantially contribute to the effective management of open, public drug scenes and to improvements in public order.
- Reduces the number and frequency of drug-related overdose and death in public spaces.
- DCRs do not encourage people to initiate drug use and do not increase crime.
- Reduces the number of unsafely disposed syringes.
- Provides ‘real-time’ drug market monitoring to identify trends in overdose outbreaks, drug types, and purity to inform community education.
- In many locations, local police refer people who inject drugs to DCRs as a more effective approach to public health and safety than incarceration.
Benefits to the broader society
- Contributes to national efforts to prevent and treat blood-borne viruses, especially HIV and HCV.
- Facilitates voluntary access to drug dependence detoxification, treatment, and recovery.
- Substantially reduces the cost of providing health and social care services to drug dependent people, as well as the cost of policing in areas where public use is prevalent.
- Reduces the cost of policing in areas where public drug use is prevalent.
- Facilitates the implementation of national plans to address a wide range of health, social, and economic issues, including shelter, psycho-social services, training, and employment and universal health coverage.
- DCR play a crucial role in accessing the most marginalised and underserved people who do not, in general, frequent other public health or social interventions.
- Provides ‘real-time’ drug market monitoring to identify trends in overdose outbreaks, drug types, and purity to inform public health strategies.