SDCF - Frequently asked questions
Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is planning to establish a Safer Drug Consumption Facility (SDCF) in Glasgow City Centre.
On this page you will find answers to the questions we get asked frequently about the SDCF. Click on each question below to go to the answer:
- What is a Safer Drug Consumption Facility?
- Why are these services being proposed for Glasgow?
- What will the SDCF in Glasgow look like?
- How will the service run?
- Do SDCFs encourage drug use?
- What will the SDCF look like inside?
- What is the legal status of these services?
- Further information
Safer Drug Consumption Facilities are supervised and controlled healthcare settings where people can consume drugs, obtained elsewhere, in the presence of trained health and social care professionals, in clean and hygienic environments reducing the risk of overdose and infectious diseases whilst offering support and access to healthcare services.
They offer a compassionate, person-centred service which focuses on reducing the harms associated with injecting drug use and helps people access appropriate services to meet their needs. By doing so, they are able to reach an extremely vulnerable group who often do not engage with our existing services.
Safer Drug Consumption Facilities are also known as Supervised Drug Consumptions Rooms /Facilities, Safe / Supervised Injection Facilities, Safer Consumption Rooms, Overdose Prevention Sites, Drug Consumption Rooms and Medically Supervised Injecting Rooms.
Following an outbreak of HIV in people who inject drugs in public places, a health needs assessment ‘Taking Away the Chaos’ was undertaken in Glasgow city centre. This found there are approximately 400 to 500 people injecting drugs in public places in Glasgow city centre on a regular basis. Injecting in public spaces increases the risk of infection and other drug related harms, and also causes a risk to the public from discarded injecting equipment and needles.
The report made a number of recommendations, including the introduction of a SDCF which a large body of high-quality research suggests will help reduce the health and social consequences of public injecting in the city centre. These potential benefits are described in more detail below:
- local residents and business owners report less public injecting
- local residents and business owners report less discarded injecting equipment
- there is no increase in drug trafficking in the locality of the SDCFs
- there is no increase in assaults or robbery in the locality of the SDCFs
- there was no increase in crimes commonly linked with drug use
- can save money with respect to minimising expenses related to clearing and disposing of drug related litter from local communities
Glasgow city centre is the focus of the proposal since local evidence tells us that this area has a high concentration of people who inject drugs in public places, especially in the south-eastern area. Locating the facility in the area where public injecting is already taking place will maximise uptake by the target population.
This is an official service, staffed by health and social care professionals, with close links to other health and social care services. The exterior of the building will look like any other Health and Social Care premises.
The facility will have a reception and waiting area, a separate private injecting area with individual booths, a recovery area with trained staff and an aftercare area where service users can interact with staff and representatives from a variety of support organisations.
The SDCF will be open 7 days a week, 365 days a year from 9am to 9pm.
All service users will be expected to register with the service before receiving support from the HSCP multidisciplinary team and key partners.
Service users will bring and prepare and inject their own drugs for use on site and cannot share drugs with others in the facility.
SDCFs do not encourage drug use, but promote harm reduction, safer drug use and reduce drug related health issues and fatal overdoses. They support people to make and maintain contact with other services to help with treatment and recovery.
Below is a copy of the design of what the SDCF may look like inside:
Lord Advocate for Scotland announced that they would be prepared to publish a statement of prosecution policy to the effect that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute users of such a facility for possession of illegal drugs in an SDCF. Service users will be able to use drugs they bring on site, but will not be permitted to share or sell drugs within this facility
- Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services
- FASS - Families affected by drug and alcohol use
- Scottish Drug Forum
- Scottish Drug Forum Naloxone awareness sessions
- Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs
- Where to find injecting equipment in Greater Glasgow and Clyde
More information on public injecting and the proposed services can be found at:
- Changes in public order after the opening of a medically supervised safer injecting facility for illicit injection drug users - PMC (nih.gov)
- European report on drug consumption rooms - European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
- Reducing Opioid-Related Deaths in the UK report by Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
Contact us if you have a question on SDCF that is not listed above.