Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 161–183 | Cite as

Public Health and Public Order Outcomes Associated with Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities: a Systematic Review

  • Mary Clare Kennedy
  • Mohammad Karamouzian
  • Thomas KerrEmail author
The Science of Prevention (JD Stekler and J Baeten, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on The Science of Prevention


Purpose of Review

Supervised drug consumption facilities (SCFs) have increasingly been implemented in response to public health and public order concerns associated with illicit drug use. We systematically reviewed the literature investigating the health and community impacts of SCFs.

Recent Findings

Consistent evidence demonstrates that SCFs mitigate overdose-related harms and unsafe drug use behaviours, as well as facilitate uptake of addiction treatment and other health services among people who use drugs (PWUD). Further, SCFs have been associated with improvements in public order without increasing drug-related crime. SCFs have also been shown to be cost-effective.


This systematic review suggests that SCFs are effectively meeting their primary public health and order objectives and therefore supports their role within a continuum of services for PWUD. Additional studies are needed to better understand the potential long-term health impacts of SCFs and how innovations in SCF programming may help to optimize the effectiveness of this intervention.


Supervised drug consumption facilities Supervised injection facilities Illicit drug use Harm reduction Systematic review 



We would like to thank Tricia Collingham and Deborah Graham for their research and administrative assistance. Mary Clare Kennedy is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship and a Mitacs Accelerate Award from Mitacs Canada. Mohammad Karamouzian is supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Thomas Kerr is supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Foundation Grant (20R74326).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Humans and Animal Rights

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards and international/national/institutional guidelines).

Supplementary material

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Clare Kennedy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohammad Karamouzian
    • 1
    • 3
  • Thomas Kerr
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, University of British ColumbiaSt. Paul’s HospitalVancouverCanada
  2. 2.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in HealthKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of British Columbia, St. Paul’s HospitalVancouverCanada

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