Support Supervised Injection Facilities for Massachusetts
Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are a harm reduction tool urgently needed to protect the lives of people in Massachusetts. We agree with the Editorial Board of the Boston Globe and the many healthcare providers and public health officials throughout the state who have vocalized support for SIFs in Massachusetts (1). We support SIFs because they are effective and safe, as demonstrated by a growing body of evidence. A recent meta-analysis (2) found that:

- SIFs prevent overdose deaths.
- SIFs increase access to treatment for people with substance use disorders.
- SIFs reduce harms associated with injection drug use, such as cellulitis, abscesses, endocarditis, HIV and hepatitis C.
- SIFs enhance public safety by reducing improperly discarded needles.

Moreover, SIFs are cost effective, with the potential to generate an estimated $3.5 million in net annual savings per SIF in a United States city (3).

Massachusetts Senator William Brownsberger has introduced Bill S.1081 "An Act to authorize public health workers to pursue new measures to reduce harm and stigma for people affected by substance use disorder" (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/SD1775). This bill is a pragmatic and evidence-based extension of many harm reduction programs currently available in our state such as needle exchange.

As medical providers, nurses, and other healthcare workers and students, we bear witness to the consequences of the failed war on drugs. We urge Governor Charlie Baker, as well as Massachusetts Senate and House Members, to pass legislation to create a supervised injection facility in Massachusetts to save lives during this opioid overdose epidemic.

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References
1 The Editorial Board. “Massachusetts Needs Safe Injection Sites.” The Boston Globe, 27 Dec. 2015,
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2015/12/27/safe-drug- injection-sites- needed-massachusetts/a4NYUT3jvNiPkQ2TlHWsKK/story.html. Accessed 29 Dec. 2016.
2 Potier C, Laprevote V, Dubois-Arber F, Cottencin O, Rolland B. Supervised injection services: What has been demonstrated? A systematic literature review. Drug Alcohol Depend 2014;145:48-68
3 Irwin A, Jozaghi E, Bluthenthal RN, Kral AH. A cost-benefit analysis of a potential supervised injection facility in San Francisco, California, USA. J Drug Issues 2016;0:e1-21
4 Syringe service programs for HIV prevention. CDC Vital Signs. (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/hiv-drug- use/index.html)
5 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Washington, DC: HHS, November 2016.


Please feel free to reach out to us at info@sifmanow.org with any questions or to get more involved!

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