The Case for Supervised Consumption Sites
Supervised Consumption Sites (SCS) are a controversial harm reduction tactic that aims to aid in reducing the severity and impact of the drug epidemic in the United States. Discussed under several names, supervised injection sites, safe consumption services, etc, these sites are designated areas “where people can use pre-obtained drugs under the safety and support of trained personnel.” In addition to providing a safe space where people can use drugs safely, SCS connect individuals with support and treatment services, including placement into housing. These sites also provide safe disposal for drug paraphernalia ensuring equipment such as contaminated syringes are kept off of the streets. Though currently considered to be illegal under federal statute, supervised consumption sites have been widely considered by many nonprofits and organizations to be an incredibly effective means for preventing and reducing the drug crisis, however many questions arise with the discussion of whether the federal government should change this legal obstacle for SCS: What is the government’s inherent interest in legalizing safe consumption sites? If this statute were to change, who should have control over the management of these sites? How should these sites be regulated and who oversees the regulation of these sites?