Safe Consumption Site Data Harmonization Convening

Dallas, TX
Insite, North America’s first legal supervised injection site, in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of Vancouver Coastal Health)

Given the growing social and political interest, more Safe Consumption Sites (SCSs) will soon be implemented in the United States. Most locally conceived, community-based, novel interventions are either not evaluated at all or depend on a single local researcher for evaluation. Typically, by the time innovative, community-based interventions receive national attention of governmental or policy groups, it is too late for a coordinated evaluation. Working closely together, RTI International and DPA seized on a unique and time-sensitive research opportunity with SCS implementation in the U.S. to create a data harmonization initiative.

This project brought together service providers, activists, public health departments, and policy leaders from fourteen cities and towns that are planning to implement safe consumption services in the coming years. To facilitate buy-in from future sites, the data harmonization efforts emphasize low-threshold methods and measures (i.e., low cost with minimal measurement burden). Participants worked together to identify a shared, minimum data set that will set the stage for uniform data collection nationally, providing a strong scientific platform for evaluation and future research.

Participants developed a questionnaire to provide researchers and programs to have a uniform set of evaluation questions that any place in the United States that implements supervised consumption services can use for evaluation. Get the questionnaire.

For more information, contact Jules Netherland at [email protected].