In San Francisco there are an estimated 22,500 people who inject drugs (PWID). Many PWID do not have access to safe/private environments in which to inject, which leads them to use in public spaces, thereby making them more vulnerable to overdose and other injection-related complications. High and increasing rates of fatal overdoses prompted the San Francisco Mayor’s Office to ask a group of interested community organizations to develop a white paper on options for overdose prevention services (also known as supervised consumption services), which could guide the City’s overdose response.
As a lead organization in the community coalition, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation hired Facente Consulting to facilitate the process to develop the white paper, and ultimately create the document with community input. The process included several meetings with stakeholders, review of the literature, and research on various existing models and several potential options for San Francisco. The comprehensive white paper was submitted to the Mayor’s Office in 2019, and served as the impetus for the first supervised consumption site, scheduled to be opened by the Mayor’s Office in 2022.
Photo Credit: David Mamaril Horowitz