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The Challenges and Risks of Supervised Inhalation Sites

The Challenges and Risks of Supervised Inhalation Sites

Supervised inhalation sites are starting to emerge in North America; Canada, to be exact. The building of a trusting relationship is more important than helping people use drugs safely-at least that is the argument for opening up supervised inhalation sites. The challenges are risks are far greater than most people realize. Learn more about what those are and why they are controversial.

Inhalation Rooms

Alberta, Canada is the site of a supervised inhalation program which allows drug users to combust and inhale narcotics (meth, crack cocaine) under the supervision of trained medical staff. These sound very harmful to people’s wellbeing and health. After all, it is basically like giving people permission to use narcotics that are harmful to their health. The sites have existed globally for some time in some shape or form, with the goal to help prevent the spread of HIV or hepatitis C through use of clean needles at designated sites. Man people do not realize they are also the sites for drug prevention training, counseling, jobs training, and relationship building.

Polydrug Use

What many people do not realize is that polydrug use is what causes many fatalities every year. Whether it is due to heroin contaminated with fentanyl or mixing stimulants with depressants (“speedballing”), polydrug use is becoming dangerous and taking lives. People are dying from all types of consumption of drugs. It is not the method which is lethal, it is the drug itself. Smoking and using drugs is not safe, but the hope is that supervised consumption will provide a place that minimizes the risks and supports people in getting clean.

Harm Reduction

There is no silver bullet for people who use opioids and overdose. There are plenty of things a person can do to help someone who overdoses on stimulants but having them use at a site that supervises them can support recovery in the long run. When a person seems to be overdosing or experiencing difficult symptoms as a result of use, someone like an EMT or emergency personnel is there to attend to them and help get them care immediately. If the person was to use elsewhere, perhaps they would not have made it.

The controversy over supervised sites for drug use is not going away any time soon. The best prevention from an overdose is not to use in the first place. When people are allowed access to a place where they can use drugs without repercussion, it may drive consumption instead of mitigate the risks. It is always better to seek help for drug use than it is to ignore the issue and continue using just because it is at a ‘safe site’ which promotes harm reduction.

If you are struggling with addiction, call us. Our detox program will help you get clean while our recovery program will support your journey forward to sobriety. If you are ready to commit to a life free of drugs and alcohol, call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401