NYU Langone Health and Brown University’s School of Public Health today announced a grant award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to conduct research to measure the impact of some of the first publicly recognized overdose prevention centers (OPCs) in the United States, located in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island.
Overdose prevention centers are community-based spaces where people who use drugs can more safely test and self-administer, including by injection and inhalation, previously obtained controlled substances, under the supervision of staff trained to respond when medically needed. These facilities also connect people who use drugs with health and social services, including drug treatment, harm reduction, medical care, mental health treatment, and social support.
A recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health aims to measure the impact of overdose prevention centers in the United States. These centers, also known as supervised injection facilities or safe injection sites, provide a safe and sterile environment for people to use drugs under medical supervision, reducing the risk of overdose and transmission of infectious diseases.
The study will examine the effects of overdose prevention centers on reducing overdose deaths and HIV and hepatitis C transmission rates, as well as assessing their impact on drug use patterns and engagement with addiction treatment services. The research will also analyze the economic impact of these centers, including potential cost savings related to reduced healthcare utilization and criminal justice involvement.
Overdose prevention centers have been implemented successfully in other countries, including Canada and several European nations, but have faced legal challenges in the United States. However, with the opioid epidemic continuing to devastate communities across the country, some cities, including Philadelphia and San Francisco, have moved forward with plans to open these facilities.
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