Opening its doors in 2003, Insite was the first sanctioned supervised drug injection site in North America (receiving federal exemption from Health Canada) and saves thousands of lives and millions of healthcare dollars each year. Operating in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, the Insite Supervised Injection Facility is a clean and safe environment for users to consume illicit drugs.
Service users receive:
- Clean equipment for drug consumption – needles, water, cookers, filters and tourniquets – to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C as well as bacteria
- Spectrometer testing of drug contents
- Immediate response in the event of an overdose
- Clinical care – wound management, vaccinations, etc.
- Connections to addiction, healthcare and community services
Since its inception, Insite has been at the forefront of health emergencies experienced by the most marginalized and under-served members of our community.
The staff at Insite create respectful, tolerant relationships with individuals who are chronically marginalized and resistant to healthcare.
A post-injection chill room operated by peer staff and volunteers allows service users to hang out with people with lived experience, who listen to participants’ stories and connect them to additional supports. This can include housing needs and referral to treatment services such as withdrawal management and opiate replacement.
Staff can refer participants directly to Onsite, located right above Insite, which offers detox and recovery support.