The paper presents the case for establishment of safe consumption sites (SCS) in Israel. An SCS, also known as a drug consumption room (DCR), provides a safe and medically supervised setting for people who inject drugs (PWID) to use drugs. SCS are considered a radical harm reduction intervention that provides an evidence-based response to the health and social-related harms often associated with substance use. They have been shown to be effective in reduction mortality from overdose and infectious diseases transmission. By decreasing public injection, they have also been shown to contribute to the safety and quality of life of local communities, and to the reduction of deviance and crime. More than one hundred and seventy SCS have been established in the last three and a half decades across Western Europe, North America, and Australia. In recent years, Israel has adopted several harm reduction services for PWID. Given the benefits shown in other countries, SCS may have a place in Israel’s drug policy and warrants piloting and evaluation, especially for the most marginalized PWID in the largest open drug scene in the country, located in south Tel Aviv. In this area PWID continue to suffer from ongoing physical, mental health, social, and legal problems owing to the injection of heroin, fentanyl, Ritalin, new psychoactive substances (NPS) and other mixed substances. The visible public drug injection is also a public nuisance, and has negatively affected the wellbeing and safety of the local community.
Bonny-Noach, H., Zur, A., Deutscher, A., Revivo, S., Maniv, O & Lev-Ran, S. (2021). The need to establish the first safe consumption site in Israel. Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences.