Data from 200 injection drug-users in London is ready to be analyzed as a feasibility study on introducing safe injection sites in London begins to take shape.
Back in February, the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection announced it was partnering with the Ontario HIV Treatment Network to conduct the study.
Western University PhD Candidate Ayden Scheim is with the research team and tells AM980 that the controversial sites have had success in Vancouver.
“They have found that having supervised injection services there has reduced overdose death, prevented infectious disease, and reduced public injecting and disorder in the neighbourhood. Those are the reasons why we are considering supervised injection as one part of the response to drug-related harm here but of course the whole point of doing this study is that London is not Vancouver, so we want to make sure this service would be right for our community.”
The first phase of the study, conducting surveys with injection drug-users, was completed in April. While the data is still being analyzed, Scheim says people were excited to participate.
“People were in general really appreciative that their perspective was being heard. They’re obviously supportive of any kind of health services that are going to help them to maintain their own safety. Ultimately, public injecting, overdose risk, infectious disease are things that people who inject drugs want to avoid just as much as the health care system wants them to avoid those risks.”
The research team is analysing data from drug users and will then interview community stakeholders, including social and health services, emergency services, and government.
Residents will be invited to share their feedback sometime in the fall.