OUT OF HARM’S WAY 

The Story of North America’s First and Only Public Legal Supervised Injection Site

Liz Evans is currently a fellow with the Soros Foundation and works with Community Insite. As a trained nurse, she worked in an inner city community in North America where for 23 years she tried to create socially inclusive space for people living in desperate poverty, with mental illness and drug addiction.

She watched as a wave of disease and death spread across the community among injection drug users. Looking for a more humane way to approach this situation she worked with her community and organized to open a space where people who were struggling to survive in the face of their addiction could find hope.

In a precedent setting case that was ruled on in 2011, Liz alongside an amazingly dedicated team took this fight to the Supreme Court where a legal right was enshrined for supervised injection to be granted an exemption from the criminal code.

The site has been shown to save money, save lives, bring people indoors out of the back alleys and the doorsteps of local businesses – into a space where today over two million injections have taken place without one death. This site has not encouraged or increased rates of drug use, but rather provided a life-saving service, connected people into health care, detox, treatment and housing – while sending a message of hope to people who use drugs by celebrating their inherent worth. There are 400 referrals into treatment each year from this centre and on the average 25 people are prevented from dying of a drug overdose

Liz is in Glasgow to share this story – with it’s struggles and successes and will be available to answer any questions, in the hopes of encouraging debate for a better way to address communities struggling in the face of injection drug use – and the pain and suffering that this crisis leaves our communities suffering.

Website: Insite for Community Safety

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