INSITE SUPERVISED INJECTION FACILITY
139 E Hastings St. • Opened on September 21, 2003, Insite was the first supervised injection facility opened in North America.
Supervised harm reduction service for injection drug users, including a supervised injection room, health education, and access to treatment services on site
Vancouver Coastal Health
Co-managed by the PHS Community Services Society and Vancouver Coastal Health, Insite Supervised Injection Facility is a clean, safe, supervised environment where users can inject their own drugs off the streets, and connect to addiction, health care and community services. The staff at Insite create respectful, tolerant relationships with a individuals who are chronically marginalized and dehumanized.
It grew out of a wave of drug related deaths in the community, including many overdoses. The struggle for the site was about saving the lives of friends and neighbours in the community so that addiction doesn’t need to be a death sentence.
Insite participants have access to a 12-seat injection room where they can inject their own drugs under the supervision of nurses and staff trained in overdose intervention. Participants have access to clean injection equipment, including syringes, sterile cookers, filters, water and tourniquets. The use of this equipment has been shown to reduce the spread of infectious diseases as well as reduce the number of serious soft-tissue infections, which intravenous drug users are susceptible to.
Whether it’s sharing a story, or handing out a clean pair of socks, Insite staff view positive personal interactions with participants as the building blocks of health care.
After injecting, participants move to a post injection room, where they can have a juice or coffee and hang out with staff in a safe environment. Insite staff are experts at listening, and, through listening to participants’ stories and needs, help connect them to other services including wound treatment, housing needs and referral to treatment services such as withdrawal management and opiate replacement. Staff can also refer participants directly to Onsite detox, located right above Insite.
InSite saves lives
This short video (1:39) details how InSite functions, and the steps taken to entire that individuals using the facility are made comfortable, safe, and made to feel accepted. The entire process is gone over from a new patient signing in, using the facility, and if they wish, steps beyond to help with addiction.