University of British Columbia (September 13, 2010)
A study led by researchers at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) at St. Paul's Hospital and the University of British Columbia has found that supervised injection facilities such as Vancouver's Insite connect clients with addiction treatment, which in turn resulted in greater likelihood of stopping injection drug use for at least six months.
The study, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, is the first ever to examine the link between a supervised injection facility and injection cessation.
"Extensive research has already shown that supervised injection facilities lead to increased uptake into addiction treatment, but no one has ever examined whether this translates into stopping injection drug use," says Kora DeBeck, a PhD candidate at UBC and researcher at the BC-CfE. "This study found that after Insite staff help people who use drugs enter addiction treatment, they are more likely to stop injecting."
The study found Aboriginal participants were less likely to enter addiction treatment. This finding is consistent with past studies, which indicated that Aboriginal people who use drugs may be less likely to enter conventional forms of addiction treatment. These findings highlight the importance of engaging with Aboriginal people who use drugs to determine why this group is not benefiting from addiction treatments to the same extent as non-Aboriginal clients and develop strategies to engage this population into treatment.
"Aboriginal people who use drugs need to be involved in the planning and delivery of addiction services. We have been excluded for too long," says Lorna Bird, President of the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society and study co-author.
Injection drug use cessation and use of North America's first medically supervised safer injecting facility.
Kora DeBeck, Thomas Kerr, Lorna Bird, Ruth Zhang, David Marsh, Mark Tyndall, Julio Montaner, Evan Wood.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.07.023
Link to DAD abstract